PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Amid years of rising homicides, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is restructuring the homicide unit, officials announced Tuesday.

The homicide unit will have six deputy district attornies, two investigators, and two support staff solely focused on homicide cases in the office.

Currently this year, there are fewer homicides than at this time in 2022 but the DA’s office says they’re still working on cases from the last three, record-breaking years.

Deputy District Attorney’s used to focus on homicide cases on top of their normal case load but with more than 160 cases currently in front of the DA’s office, prosecutors said that model was unworkable.

“Because the numbers have spiked so significantly over the last two to three years, it makes more sense to have an established homicide unit who are focused exclusively on those cases so they are not trying to manage those cases on top of other caseloads or responsibilities in the unit,” said Deputy DA Todd Jackson.

The unit officially began work on Sept. 5.

DA Mike Schmidt said his office is also working with OHSU on a homicide review committee to study ways to intervene before someone commits a homicide.