Austin saw a record number of homicides in 2021. How many did police solve?


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department said it continues to solve nearly 90% of homicide cases a year, even with 2021’s record number of murders.

“I think the national average runs between 50 to 60 percent,” said Lt. Brett Bailey with APD’s Homicide and Aggravated Assault Unit. “We are doing remarkably well.”

This year Austin experienced 89 homicides and surpassed the total homicides for all of 2020 at the end of July. Bailey credits the unit’s solve rate to its partnership with the Lone Star Fugitive Task force, APD’s Intelligence Unit and the motivation of homicide detectives with a growing case load.

“Typically, in Austin, homicide detectives average 3-4 homicides per year. 2021 was different,” Bailey said. “Several of the detectives were nearing their 10th homicide for the year.”

The chart below shows how the number of homicides reported in recent years changed over time.

In June 2021, APD added two more detectives to the unit for a total of 14 investigators.

“The motivation and dedication of the homicide detectives in the Austin Police Department, I would put up against anyone in the nation,” Bailey said.

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