PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s been a violent summer in Philadelphia, as the homicide rate is up 20 percent from this time last year. It’s also been a struggle for detectives to solve those murders, and the city’s top cop has made some changes.
The mounting murders, witness intimidation, combined with a number of seasoned detectives retiring from the department has resulted in a 37 percent clearance rate, according to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.
“When the homicide unit gets bombarded with a number of investigations at one time, it makes it very difficult to solve those jobs expeditiously which is one of the things we look to do,” Ross said.
He says there’s now a new batch of detectives. As part of his restructuring plan, he has named Captain John Ryan the new leader of the homicide unit.
“This is not about mass incarceration, this is about getting people who are killers off the street and holding them responsible for things they have done, in this case, the most egregious crime you can commit,” he said.
He says mentorship, education and community groups are keys to chipping away at the violence.
Ross added, “There are also a lot that needs to happen, long before the police department ever get involved.”