Calling the data “significant,” Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Police Chief Warren Evans say homicides dropped nearly 25 percent in the past three months and detectives are solving more cases, the Detroit News reports. The gains came during the third quarter — traditionally the warmest and deadliest months of the year. There were 96 homicides over the period, down from 125 in the second quarter. The closure rate jumped to 60 percent from 27 percent.
The announcement come months after the News reported that the police department systematically had undercounted homicides that led to a falsely low murder rate. The police were incorrectly reporting crime and homicide statistics to the FBI as required by federal guidelines. Mayoral challenger Tom Barrow questioned the timing of the release. “Interim Mayor Bing is getting nervous about the growing momentum of my campaign,” Barrow said. “The city of Detroit has never held press conferences to announce quarterly homicide numbers. Shame on Warren Evans for participating in these antics.”