Sacramento detectives are solving a greater percentage of homicides this year than in 2006, a result they attribute to fewer killings, more resources and ongoing crackdowns on street gangs, says the Sacramento Bee. Arrests have been made in 31 of the 47 homicides through July 10, a clearance rate of 66 percent, according to a Bee analysis of 2007 cases. At this point last year, investigators say they had cleared 30 of 62 homicides, or 48 percent, records show.
One reason for the higher success rate is a sharp decline in killings, a trend that has allowed detectives to devote more time to new cases. In the past nine months, a pair of massive sweeps of gang members on parole or probation have resulted in nearly 200 arrests, while other smaller operations that have concentrated on specific neighborhoods have yielded dozens more arrests. “Our gang officers and our POP (Problem Oriented Policing) guys have been doing more sweeps and are just out there hammering these guys and it has significantly impacted our caseload,” said a sheriff’s homicide bureau supervisor said. Tackling gangs, which remain a heavy influence in the region’s crime rate, has cut into the violence. About one-third of the sheriff’s homicide cases and roughly half the city’s killings have been driven by gang involvement.