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Baltimore Police Solving Disturbingly Low Number Of The City's Murders

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Getting away with murder in Baltimore. It's happening all too often. A shockingly low number of those crimes are being solved.

Derek Valcourt takes a closer look at the number of cases closed and the bold new ideas being implemented to catch more killers.

So far this year, police have only been able to crack about one out of every three murders in the city. They're hoping help from federal authorities will change that.

Hundreds upon hundreds of shootings and murders, and the mayor tells WJZ it's all happening at the hands of a small group of violent criminals.

"We are working very hard to not just identify those individuals, but to build cases against them so we can extract them from the streets," Mayor Rawlings-Blake said.

To do that, the acting police commissioner is bringing in more help, announcing Monday ten federal agents will start working on the streets alongside Baltimore homicide detectives, who already have full plates.

As of Tuesday morning, there have been 192 murders in Baltimore. Police tell WJZ their clearance rate on murder cases is about 33 percent, or, a third.

That means so far this year, they've solved or closed approximately 64 murder cases, leaving homicide detectives with about two-thirds still unsolved.

Baltimore police declined to tell WJZ how many open cases each homicide detective is currently working. In fact, they even refused to tell us just how many homicide detectives they currently have.

So far this year, there have been 378 nonfatal shootings. That's up dramatically from the 210 police were dealing with at the same time last year.

"Here in Baltimore, we're only as strong as our relationships with the community," said Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.

City leaders are calling on citizens and witnesses to step up and help police.

"National Night Out is so important," said Richard Henderson.

Part of why community activists, like Richard Henderson, are asking Baltimore residents to take part in Tuesday night's National Night Out against crime, happening in neighborhoods around the city.

If the number of murders continues at its current pace, Baltimore could be on track for one of its deadliest years ever.

Baltimore's 45 murders last month tied the most ever in the city with August 1972, when there were 275,000 more people living in the city.

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