COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCHM) – In the last 24 hours, the city of Columbus has reached a grim milestone.
Already in its deadliest year, now, for the first time, the city has recorded more than 200 homicides.
This is a problem police departments across the country are dealing with, including cities of a similar size to Columbus.
Indianapolis, for example, also broke its homicide record this year, with 268 so far.
Austin, Texas, has recorded 89 homicides for 2021, far less than Columbus, but it’s also a record-breaking number for that city, and an 85 percent increase from 48 homicides in 2020.
In Columbus, homicides are up about 15 percent from 2020, but the solve rate for those crimes hasn’t moved.
“We’re only solving at about 50-percent, give or take, on our homicides,” said Columbus Division of Police Deputy Chief Tim Becker. “So out of 202 homicides that occurred this year, there’s approximately 100 killers that are out there on the street and maybe it’s one person that’s killed more than one victim and so there’s not 100 separate killers, but there are killers out walking among us.”
Becker said Columbus police is only staffed to handle the “normal” number of homicides. Two years ago, that number was 106. In 2021, it’s 202.