Indianapolis police clear half of homicide cases in 2021

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INDIANAPOLIS — During a record year for homicides, IMPD detectives set a record for the number of cases they’ve cleared.

IMPD reports its 2021 clearance rate for homicides at nearly 50%, a slight uptick from its 2020 numbers.

The department’s recent clearance high water mark was 65% in 2018 when detectives investigated 171 killings.

2021 set a homicide record in Indianapolis with 271 killings, and while the clearance percentage is lower than 2018, more investigations means IMPD set a record for the number of cases cleared.

“I think 2022 will be a good year in a number of different ways,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor. “I hope it will be more from the standpoint of lowering those murder and homicide numbers but even if not, IMPD is going to be moving in a positive direction.”

The IMPD Homicide Branch will add more detectives, lean more on crime analysts and beef up its family advocate services in the coming year.

“I very much would recommend that IMPD implement some sort of family advocacy program so that there is an advocate for the family,” said Dana Croom whose son Justice Wills was shot to death alongside a friend on the eastside last summer in a case that remains unsolved. “Its very frustrating that we have limited information and the detective is working very diligently to find out what happened.”

IMPD investigated more than 700 non-fatal shootings last year, also a record.

Of the 271 homicides in 2021, 249, or 91.88%, were determined to be murders, a figure 4.5% higher than the year before when detectives investigated 245 homicides.

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