Eighty-six people became homicide victims in Cleveland last year, six more than in 2003, when when the city had 250 more police officers on the streets, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. City officials see little correlation between the size of the police force and the number of people killed. Craig Tame, an aide to Mayor Jane Campbell, noted out that 20 of the homicides occurred in one police district in southeast Cleveland, where the largest number of patrol officers are assigned. He said Cleveland recorded more homicides in 2002, more than a year before police layoffs.
The easy access to weapons is more of a factor police force numbers, said Cleveland Police Chief Edward Lohn. “Homicide is one of the most difficult crimes for police to stop,” Lohn said. “Usually we get there after it is already committed, especially when it is an argument between acquaintances or family members. About 70 percent of homicides were solved, average for the last decade.