Since early March, Cincinnati police have closed only two of the city's last 18 homicides, one of the longest and deepest dry spells in case resolutions in recent years, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. After successfully closing eight of the year's first 11 homicides, police hit roadblocks in investigations at a time when officer layoffs had been threatened in the city budget process and the police department is facing changes in leadership, starting with the approaching departure of Chief James Craig.
Since May 14, the day Craig confirmed he was taking the police chief's job in his hometown of Detroit, Cincinnati has experienced six homicides and 23 nonfatal shootings through midnight Wednesday, a quicker pace than normal. Authorities say leadership transition and threats to staffing have nothing to do with the unsolved cases or spike in violence. They say gains made in 2012 – which logged the fewest killings since 2001 and saw police solve 57 percent of the homicides – make bad stretches more noticeable. “We're in a bad place right now, but I think, with the strategies we've set in place … we will be fine,” Craig said between sessions of the Major Cities Chiefs Association conference in Texas.