Performance trends

Changes in methodology:

  • Please note that the case closure amount for FY12 and FY13 is based only on the number of closures effected by the detectives in the Major Crimes Division. Closures for FY14 and beyond include all arrests and closures by exception effected by the entire department.
  • Starting in FY14, MCPD changed is closure rate methodology. Closure rates for MCPD are calculated as the number of cases that both occurred and were closed (either by arrest or exception) in that fiscal year, divided by the total number of cases in that fiscal year. In the past, the MCPD would present case closures from previous years in the closure rate for the current fiscal year. Changes in our business intelligence tools now adjust closure rates from previous years as cases are closed and/or unfounded.
  • To better align reported case closure rates with Uniform Crime Report standards, MCPD now excludes cases that were closed administratively. Data from FY15 and onward reflect this change.

Why is this measure important?

Measuring the performance of a police department can be challenging. However, closure rates help provide an assessment of the department's goal of managing crime. Closure rates are systematically collected through the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, allowing for long term trend analysis.

Factors contributing to current performance

  • From CY2016 to CY2017, the number of homicides in Montgomery County increased 44% from 16 to 23.
  • The homicide trend remains consistent: the homicides in Montgomery County are generally domestic or gang-related. In 2017, 35% of the homicides were domestic-related and another 35% were gang-related.

Factors restricting performance improvement

Homicide investigation/closure may be impacted by any of the following items:
  1. Evidence found at the crime scenes and/or need to identify the victim
  2. Presence of witnesses (or lack thereof)
  3. Victim demographics/criminal record
  4. Motivation for killing (complexity of the crime)

Performance improvement plan

In 2016, the average homicide closure rate for metropolitan counties was 66.1%. The department consistently exceeds that average.
The MCPD received several new positions during this last FY through a supplemental appropriation from the Council, for the purposes of targeting increasing violent gang activity. Additional funding was also given to the State's Attorney's Office, to provide more resources to pursue gangs using federal laws to break up their criminal activity and avert deadly violence.