Pittsburgh Police Consider $ 52,000 Grant for Cold Case Project

City and public safety leaders want to use part of the grants to focus on some of Pittsburgh’s unresolved cases, officials said Wednesday.

Legislation presented to city council this week would set aside $ 52,000 of the Department of Justice’s Byrne Justice Assistance Grant to cover the costs of investigating cases in which leads have dried up and suspects remain at large .

The money could be used for expenses such as hiring retired homicide detectives as consultants and the cost of resubmitting evidence for tests and exams. The grant will also allow the office to invest in equipment and supplies that “would allow detectives and consultants to sort through and continue to investigate cases of dead-end homicides,” said Molly Onufer, spokesperson for the office. of the mayor, in a press release.

Detectives will start with cases that are at least five years old, Public Safety spokeswoman Cara Cruz said. If they go through these files, they will go back another five years.

The city council has yet to approve the legislation.

From 1980 to 2019, more than 269,000 unsolved homicides across the country, including 70,000 in the past decade, according to the Murder Accountability Project, which uses data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. Nationally, this translates to a liquidation rate of just over 62% since 1980.

Looking at cumulative data going back to 1980, the Pittsburgh Police Department has more solved than unsolved cases – 1,068 solved homicides versus 899 unsolved. The ratio of solved homicide cases to unsolved homicide cases began to become more uneven between the mid to late 2000s, data shows, and police classified 289 of the 822 cases between 2005 and 2019. , according to data the Murder Accountability Project pulls from the FBI.

Megan Guza is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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