Last year Kansas City detectives solved 64 percent of the city's 115 homicides, says the Kansas City Star. That was 8 percentage points better than 2005 and marked the first increase since 2002 in the department's homicide clearance rate. The rate was slightly higher than the national average. The number of cases cleared often depends on evidence and witnesses' cooperation, said Maj. Anthony Ell, commander of the violent crimes division.
A “no snitching” code among many young people has thwarted detectives' ability to solve some cases, neighborhood organizer Joyce Riley said. “A lot of little thugs have this thing: 'Don't tell the police. We take care of our own,' ” she said. Riley knows a man who didn't tell police what he knew about a homicide. He worries that the killer, who still walks the streets, will come after him to make sure he doesn't talk, she said. Until 2006, the Police Department's annual homicide clearance rate had declined each year since 2002, when detectives solved 74 percent of 87 cases.