9/21/2013

How bad is Chicago's crime problem?: Chicago's clearance rate and Gov. Pat Quinn discusses using National Guard to help fight crime in Chicago

With all the gang violence in Chicago, Gov. Quinn suggested that he might get involved, though so far it is only a suggestion.  From CBS Chicago:
Gov. Pat Quinn says he would consider using state resources to help combat Chicago street violence. 
Speaking about this week’s mass shooting in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, Quinn says he’s open to talking with Mayor Emanuel or Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy about supplementing Chicago law enforcement with state police or the Illinois National Guard. 
He said he’s had no specific conversations but noted state police are helping patrol in East St. Louis, another city that has its challenges with violent crime. 
“I think anyone who saw what happened in Cornell Park the other night was horrified by the violence. I live on the West Side of Chicago. It is an area that has been inflicted with violence, and we’ve got to protect the people,” Quinn told reporters Saturday. 
Talk about using state firepower in Chicago isn’t unprecedented. In 2008, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich suggested using the state police and National Guard to help Chicago police with “out of control” violence. . . .
So how bad is Chicago's crime fighting efforts?  Last year, "Only 132 of the 507 murder cases in the city last year were closed last year. That makes for a homicide clearance rate of 26 percent—the lowest in two decades, according to internal police records provided to Chicago." 

But how does that compare with the rest of the US?  The clearance rate for the US as a whole for murder in 2012 was 62.5 percent.  For all cities, it was 60.3 percent.  For cities over 1 million in population, it is 57.0 percent.

New York 419 8,289,415
Los Angeles 299 3,855,122
Chicago 500 2,708,382 (the FBI numbers are slightly different from Chicago's)
Houston 217 2,177,273
Philadelphia 331 1,538,957
Phoenix 123 1,485,509
San Antonio 89 1,380,123
San Diego 47 1,338,477
Dallas 154 1,241,549

With 2,179 murders in the cities with more than 1 million people, a 62.5 percent clearance rate implies 1,362 cases were cleared.  So take out the numbers for Chicago: that leaves 1,679 murders for the other cities and 1,230 cleared -- a 73.26 percent clearance rate for the other large cities.  Thus the clearance rate for the other cities over 1 million people would be about 2.8 times greater than the rate in Chicago.

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