The Homicide Division

Homicide Unit

The Homicide Unit is under the Special Investigations Division, which is overseen by the Deputy Ops who reports directly to the Commissioner. The city averages about 350 murders a year, and the unit’s clearance rate usually hovers between 40-45%, while the national average is about 60%. There are about 20 detectives in the unit, which means each detective might have between 25-35 cases going at any given time. Detectives work a 9/17 shift, which means they work 9 out of every 10 business days for 9 hours a day, but get weekends off. There are always a few days a month where the detectives are “on call” though, so they have to respond to crime scenes as they come in (and since most occur between 10pm and 3am, they have to work late).

The detectives work from a cramped, rundown office in Center City with outdated equipment and a lack of basic supplies. Equipment like flashlights, walkie-talkies and even squad cars must be checked out on an as-needed basis. Detectives also don’t have their own desks and must either share or find other places to work. The office does have 2 interrogation rooms (typically called “the box”), which often double for work space when not in use. Only the Lt has his own office and desk. At least there’s a tiny break room which always has a pot of coffee.

The Homicide Division

Homicide: Philadelphia _Slate_ _Slate_