(Image Source: WeLoveDC)


BY JEREMY TRUITT


For the first time in almost 50 years, Washington DC is set to see fewer than 100 homicides over the course of this year. Even as early as 1993, the city saw an average of 457 each year. Sky News and WJLA report.

In the ‘80s, the crack epidemic got so fierce, DC earned the unfortunate title of “the murder capital” of the United States and has kept that name for decades.

The problem was so noticeable it garnered national attention, however DC’s homicide rate peaked in the ‘90s around 500 annually, and has since gradually declined.

So why the continuing drop in homicide rates? Well that’s not completely understood, but Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who joined the force during the 1991 street riots offers one clue.  

“You have to act very quickly and you have to focus specifically on the most violent gang members that have repeat gun offenses...and we’ve done that, and I think that has helped us tremendously.” (Via dcmayorsoffice / YouTube)

While the numbers in DC are impressive, Al Jazeera reported last year that it appears to be signaling a general trend across the nation.

“The capital’s success in curbing mayhem is hardly unique. New York, Los Angeles, even Chicago report the same overall patterns, notwithstanding spikes in certain neighborhoods.”

This year continues that downward trend, with the exception of Chicago. Lanier reflects on how much better it has gotten, saying she frequently thinks back to the days when homicide reports came in constantly.

While the homicide rate has decreased markedly, the district is still battling an ongoing assault and robbery problem which continues to rise. This has some residents saying the city still has a long way to go.
 

Washington DC Could Have Fewest Murders in Nearly 50 Years

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Nov 23, 2012

Washington DC Could Have Fewest Murders in Nearly 50 Years

(Image Source: WeLoveDC)


BY JEREMY TRUITT


For the first time in almost 50 years, Washington DC is set to see fewer than 100 homicides over the course of this year. Even as early as 1993, the city saw an average of 457 each year. Sky News and WJLA report.

In the ‘80s, the crack epidemic got so fierce, DC earned the unfortunate title of “the murder capital” of the United States and has kept that name for decades.

The problem was so noticeable it garnered national attention, however DC’s homicide rate peaked in the ‘90s around 500 annually, and has since gradually declined.

So why the continuing drop in homicide rates? Well that’s not completely understood, but Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who joined the force during the 1991 street riots offers one clue.  

“You have to act very quickly and you have to focus specifically on the most violent gang members that have repeat gun offenses...and we’ve done that, and I think that has helped us tremendously.” (Via dcmayorsoffice / YouTube)

While the numbers in DC are impressive, Al Jazeera reported last year that it appears to be signaling a general trend across the nation.

“The capital’s success in curbing mayhem is hardly unique. New York, Los Angeles, even Chicago report the same overall patterns, notwithstanding spikes in certain neighborhoods.”

This year continues that downward trend, with the exception of Chicago. Lanier reflects on how much better it has gotten, saying she frequently thinks back to the days when homicide reports came in constantly.

While the homicide rate has decreased markedly, the district is still battling an ongoing assault and robbery problem which continues to rise. This has some residents saying the city still has a long way to go.
 

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