An arrest was made in about 41% of Los Angeles County murders last year, says the Los Angeles Times. There was virtually no difference in success rates between the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department although the agencies follow very different models in investigating homicides. The Times says the finding suggests that community attitudes and behaviors and prosecutors’ thresholds for filing charges may have more to do with whether killers end up behind bars than any one law-enforcement model.
Clearance rates varied across geographic and demographic lines. The rate of arresting suspects was lowest for cases in which blacks were victims. Countywide, suspects had been arrested in 38 percent of cases in which blacks were victims, compared with 42 percent for Latinos and 54 percent for whites. The findings are preliminary, because some cases will be solved in coming months or years. Many detectives say at least two years is needed to investigate cases fully.