Across Ohio, homicide rates are soaring this year, especially in the state’s large cities.
Cleveland set a 10 year record for homicides in August, totaling 101 killings by August 7. From January 1 to the beginning of August last year, the city had 84 homicides.
Likewise, Columbus has seen a surge in violent killings. In November, the city broke its record for the highest number of homicides in one year. The previous record was 178. As of Monday, the city had totaled 190 homicides, according to the Columbus Police Department (CPD).
In fact, as of October, the homicide rate had increased more in Columbus than in Chicago, often called the most dangerous city in America. Homicides in Columbus had increased by 63 percent, while homicides in Chicago had increased by 34 percent.
Columbus now averages 19 killings per 100,000 residents annually, compared to Chicago’s average of 24 homicides per 100,000 residents.
“The spike in homicides is not unique to Columbus. The reasons are not simple, and neither are the solutions. Police alone cannot fix it,” Robin Davis, deputy chief of communications to Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther told The Ohio Star. “We approach the problem holistically, across all city departments and with partners outside of the city through the Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy, as we also try to restore trust between police and the community.”
Similarly, Toledo set a new homicide record in November of this year. The previous record was 62 homicides, which was surpassed by killing on the city’s east side last month.
Neither Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s office, nor Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz’s office returned a comment request.
Overall, crime has been surging throughout the state for the past two years. Between 2019 and 2020, homicide rates per 100,000 residents increased 40 percent, which is the state’s largest increase in 35 years.
According to Attorney General Dave Yost’s office, there are 2,208 unsolved homicides in Ohio, spanning as far back as 1962.
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