Thirteen Cities Broke Homicide Records in 2021 as Police Face Shortages, Budget Cuts

A law enforcement officer observes the scene where two women were shot on Christmas morning in Chicago, Ill., December 25, 2021. (Cheney Orr/Reuters)

After 13 cities broke their homicide records in 2021, politicians and police departments find themselves trying to answer the million-dollar question: Why?

Experts say staffing shortages from police retirements and resignations driven by a wave of anti-police sentiment, as well as bail reform, declining arrests, and hardships from the pandemic have coalesced to create a climate of increased crime around the country. Still, there is no clear one-size-fits-all answer for every city seeing a surge in crime.

Toledo, Ohio, recorded 62 homicides as of mid November, beating a previous record set in 2020, when the city saw 57 homicides. The 2020 total

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