Why is Austin’s murder rate on the rise?


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin’s murder rate is on the rise, according to the Austin Police Homicide Unit. 

Lt. Jeff Greenwald says there are usually between 30-40 homicides a year in Austin — so far in 2020, there have been 27 homicides. 

“If we continue trending this way we will be in the 40s somewhere — and that will be an unusually high year,” he said.

Greenwald says the rising murder rate started in the beginning of the year, slowed down during the stay-at-home orders but has since picked back up. 

The unit is looking for trends. 

Greenwald says many of this year’s homicide investigations involve robberies and drug transactions. 

“What we do see is that there’s a lot of people who are just resorting to violence maybe a little more quickly than they have before for unknown reasons.” 

But one trend is on track: the Austin Police Homicide Unit has a 90% clearance rate. 

“They consistently hit it out of the park with very little complaining,” says Greenwald. “And the clearance rates show that they’re doing a great job.”

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