Friday, August 3, 2012

Crime Rates Going Down, but Clearance Rates Going Down Too?

Training and Experience Needed More Than Ever

Clearance Rates Dropping in Many Police Departments

by: Joseph Giacalone

There is good news and there is bad news. Here is the good news first: Murder rates have been dropping across the United States to record low numbers. There maybe several factors for this, but here are two:

1. Crime is actually going down
2. Hospitals are better equipped to deal with shootings, therefore, saving more victims

Now the bad news. You would thing that with less murders, better and more advanced forensic techniques, that murder clearances would be through the roof, but they aren't. In a disturbing trend across many of the Country's police departments, clearances by arrest are way below the historical national average of about 64%. What is the problem?

Due mainly to the "Great Recession," many jurisdictions that were strapped for cash, furloughed many safety workers, including police officers. Detectives that were once investigating cases, found themselves back on patrol duty to fill the void left by the layoffs. Secondly, because of talk surrounding pension reform, many veterans decided to call it quits and get out while the getting was still good. If you wait around, you may see your benefits get reduced. A case is counted as "cleared" when an arrest is made, not if the person is indicted or convicted.

So where does this leave the Nation's police departments? In a bad situation where you have vets leaving with all of their experience and no one left behind to train the next generation. So what is left to do? Police departments can get ahead of the "blind" curve by initiating a formal training program. It is not the panacea for all that ills the investigative ranks, but you have to start somewhere to stop the bleeding. The Criminal Investigative Function: A Guide for New Investigators is meant to a be a primer for situations like this. The New Jersey Civil Service Commission has adopted the book already for police promotional exams.

This was my very first attempt at making a book trailer. I used iMovie and was surprised how easy it was. My intention was to grab the viewer by the lapels and highlight the seriousness of the situation that law enforcement and therefore the public, is in right now.

Let me know if I succeeded or how the video can be improved by leaving a comment and / or recommendation.

Related Articles:

Are Investigators Relying Too Much on Forensic Evidence?
Are Cold Case Squads Going by Way of the Dinosaur?
New Jersey Civil Service Commission Adopts the Criminal Investigative Function 


  1. Very captivating trailer. The simplicity and contrast of basic colors certainly draws the viewer's focus towards the concise, yet effective points. Perhaps it would be helpful to include a point or two explaining the benefit of the guide; something that tells the inexperienced investigator that he or she can hit the ground running with a guideline written by a foremost expert in investigations.

    1. No bad for an amateur eh? I'm still learning what I can do with my Mac.