CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As Clarksville’s population continues to grow, police are working to keep up with crime.
When it comes to homicides, the Clarksville Police Department has seen numbers drop over the last five years. The department has also had a high success rate when it comes to solving these murders.
Over the past decade, there have been 156 homicides in Clarksville. Of those, police have been able to solve 143 of them, which is roughly 92%.
According to the Murder Accountability Project, that solve rate trumps the national average solve rate, well as Tennessee’s average solve rate, based on the most recent FBI data available.
“I think that’s a combination with the officers that we hire and train that then turn into homicide detectives, and their experience on the street and investigations has really helped and given us the knowledge to solve these,” said Lt. Griffie Briggs with Clarksville Police’s Homicide and Special Victims Unit.
In addition, police told News 2 the public has also played a role in solving these homicides through tips.
“We’ve been doing a lot of outreach with our police department through our community relations unit, our juvenile engagement team, as well as patrol officers on the street making contacts with the public,” Briggs added. “And that’s really been something that I believe has helped us solve a lot of these homicides, is the public’s help.”
The department is also investing in new technology to help trace moves suspects have made better than ever before.
“I think there’s a lot of times when evidence can be very little,” Briggs explained. “We have to turn to some unconventional means of evidence and some of the new technologies that are expanding in crime solving.”
As more people move to and pass through Clarksville, police anticipate their jobs becoming more complicated.
“It’s always a challenge because there’s new people coming in and leaving all the time, so it is harder for us to get to know some of the new folks that may be passing through,” Briggs said.
However, authorities are still working hard to keep on top of activity in the community so these crimes don’t go unsolved.
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“Definitely every single case is different, and we really work hard to try to identify those and locate the suspects for our victims’ families,” Briggs told News 2.
Clarksville homicides have gone down every year since 2019. In 2022, the city reported 11 homicides, but so far in 2023, there have only been two.
To learn more about Clarksville’s unsolved homicides or to submit a tip about a crime, you can visit the Clarksville Montgomery County Crime Stoppers website. Tips may be eligible for a cash reward.