LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Homicides in Los Angeles fell from 402 in 2021 to 382 last year, a 5% decrease, Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday.
"We recognize that homicides devastate communities. It grips people with fear and causes immeasurable damage to families, friends and the local community," Moore said. "Our most seasoned detectives often find themselves working homicides in a lifelong effort to bring justice to these families that suffer from these extraordinary crimes."
Moore also said the Los Angeles Police Department has a new website illustrating the impacts of homicides, which will include whether progress has been made by investigators on homicide cases.
According to Moore, the website will include a picture, name and date of occurrence for every homicide that occurred last year, and moving forward, will also include photographs pursuant to families' wishes of homicide victims.
"It's our hope that as people see those victims, they recognize a life that was lost and the devastation of an entire family," Moore said. "That will help our communities provide their most crucial resource -- their voice, and help us understand those responsible for this gun violence."
Moore attributed to the decrease in homicides to the efforts of LAPD officers and investigators, Mayor Karen Bass and former Mayor Eric Garcetti for adding overtime hours to bolster deployment and adding more uniform patrols, and to the community for providing information and working with law enforcement.
"We continue to see a reduction in homicides and shootings to this year-to-date," Moore said. "We've had 55 homicides as of this past Saturday, which is a 32% decrease from the same period last year-to-date. We've also seen a 15% reduction in the number of shootings, and violent crime reduction of 12% from 2022."
Department data indicated that the LAPD's Operations South Bureau, which includes 77th Street, Harbor, Southeast and Southwest stations, had the largest decrease in homicides, about 140 cases in 2022 from 167 in 2021, or about a 16% decrease.
The Operations Valley Bureau, which includes the Van Nuys, West Valley, North Hollywood, Foothill, Devonshire, Mission and Topanga police stations, reported a 14% increase in homicides -- 67 homicides in 2022, up from 59 homicides in 2021.
"Our top premise for these crimes occurred or being outside in public spaces -- with 58% of homicides occurred in outside locations," Moore said. "The top weapons remain a firearm that are 75% of our homicides."
Moore said the department seized 8,427 firearms in 2022, 234 fewer than the 8,661 firearms seized in 2021. In addition, firearm seizures outside the city limits increased by 76, or 25%, from 307 in 2021.
The LAPD's Gang and Narcotics Division identified 1,706, or 20%, of the total firearms seized as so-called "ghost guns," an 11% decrease from 2021, according to the report.
"I'm happy to report that in our efforts to solve these crimes and bring justice to these families, we did see a 10% in our clearance rate from 68% in 2021 to 75% in 2022," Moore said. "This was a 34% increase from 2020, where we solved only 56%, one of our all-time lows in the year that we saw a substantial increase in homicides in 2020."
Moore said the department saw 100% and 84% clearance rates in homicide cases regarding Black and Hispanic women in 2022, respectively.
Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher said the high clearance rate is a result of collaboration among various officers and programs. Pitcher also said any homicide that is not immediately solved is brought before a committee, which includes commanding officers of the Robbery Homicide Division, expert investigators and forensic staff, to make sure "no stone is left unturned."
"We've also put an emphasis on the cold case aspect, going back and ultimately looking at these cold cases," Pitcher said.
Reports of domestic and family-related homicides in 2022 declined from 2021, but remained higher than the 27 reported homicides cases in 2020.
According to the report, there were three more homeless-related homicides than the 107 reported in 2021.
The top three motives in homeless-related homicide cases were dispute or revenge, gang-related activities and robbery -- with robbery accounting for about 51% of those homicides. Moore noted gang-related homicides continue to decrease and have reached their lowest overall percentage in the last three years.