At present, the average homicide clearance rate in the United States is approximately 65%, down roughly 15% from the mid-1970s. This research seeks to inform how police can best improve homicide clearance rates by identifying best practices in homicide investigations. To accomplish this goal, as part of a federally funded project, seven geographically representative law enforcement agencies were identified that had at least 24 homicides in 2011 and had a clearance rate of 80% or higher from which effective investigative practices could be gleaned. Qualitative findings indicate that a strong community policing presence, collaboration with external agencies, and an innovative culture facilitate high rates of homicide clearance. Implications for policy and future research are discussed.
Carter, David L. and Jeremy G. Carter. 2015. “Effective Police Homicide Investigations: Evidence From Seven Cities With High Clearance Rates.” Homicide Studies (March). http://hsx.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/03/25/1088767915576996.abstract