TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — While new nationwide data shows unsolved homicides are at a record high, Tulsa police's numbers show the exact opposite.
So far, the department has solved all 18 homicides in 2023, which is on par with their numbers from years past.
"We have a lot going right," said Lt. Brandon Watkins, who oversees TPD's homicide unit.
Watkins said a homicide is considered solved if an arrest is made, a warrant is issued for a suspect, or if police determine it was justified.
He said his detectives do great work, but attributes a large part of their success to the community.
"They talk to us, they give us information," said Watkins. "You know, people keep their eyes out when they have video that helps, we get people just volunteering to send us in videos."
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said through trust with the community, detectives are able to collect a lot of evidence.
"The more resources you can throw at a problem at the very beginning, the higher probability you're going to have for success, whether it's plugging a hole in a dam or finding a suspect who's accused of a crime," said Kunzweiler.
He said his job is to convince a jury someone is guilty of committing a crime, but sometimes it doesn't happen.
"We do the best we can, but our job is still convincing 12 people unanimously that that person is guilty," said Kunzweiler.
Watkins also noted there were fewer homicides this year compared to the end of May 2022.
He said fewer cases means his detectives get more time to concentrate.