Cleveland creates homicide review task force

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CLEVELAND-- The Cleveland Division of Police announced its new Homicide Review Task Force during a news conference on Tuesday.

Police Chief Calvin Williams said they want to do everything possible in terms of reducing violent crimes in the city, as well as bring closure to families of victims. The task force consists of the Cleveland Division of the FBI, the Cuyahoga County's Sheriff's Office, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office.

"We definitely know that the more emphasis you put on the unsolved homicides, as far as analysts, trained investigators, concentrated on those things, the better outcome we have. We definitely want people to know, we're on top of this," Williams said.

Williams said they looked at how other cities across the country in terms of solving homicides, with emphasis on staffing and equipment. The plan has been in the works for weeks.

The police chief also mentioned they would be expanding the staffs of the homicide unit, gang unit and neighborhood impact community engagement unit.

According to a news release from the city on Tuesday, there are "notable reductions" in reported rapes, felonious assaults, thefts, arson and theft of a motor vehicle from 2014 to 2017. The city did not list specific numbers and did not mention the homicide rate.

Anyone with information on a crimes in Cleveland is asked to call police at 216-621-1234. Anonymous tips can be reported to Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County at 216-252-7463 or by texting "TIP657" to 274637.

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