Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis will bolster his department’s thinned detective ranks, saying he believes the department’s declining success in solving serious crimes is largely tied to a shortage of investigators, the Boston Globe reports. The Boston “clearance rate” of serious crimes — the percentage of cases in which an arrest is made or a suspect identified — has declined in tandem with the number of detectives. In 2001, when there were 406 detectives, the clearance rate was 23 percent. Last year, there were 326 detectives, nearly 20 percent fewer, and the clearance rate was 18 percent, a 22 percent decline, through November.
Davis will wait for a detectives test to be given on June 30 before deciding how many officers he would promote and when. A department official said the 11 police districts are down by a total of at least 50 detectives. Said Jack Parlon, president of the Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society: “We [make up] about 16 percent of the police department, and we’re trying to solve 100 percent of the crime. This guy understands the value of detectives.”