D.C. Police Chief Announces Fewer Murders, More Theft This Year

94-percent rate of closure for homicide cases called "astounding"

Saturday, Dec 31, 2011  |  Updated 9:17 AM EDT
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District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier says that the city is no longer

Darcy Spencer

District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier says that the city is no longer "the murder capital." Darcy Spencer reports.

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D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says that even though homicides are at their lowest level in nearly 50 years, other crimes including theft remain alarmingly high.
 
Lanier said Friday that the 108 homicides recorded in 2011 are the lowest since 1963.
 
She says 33 of the slayings were solved within a week, and that the overall closure rate for the District of Columbia was 94 percent this year.  Chief Lanier said that homicides east of the Anacostia River in the 6th and 7th Districts had been reduced by 56 percent.

Mayor Gray, who appeared together with the chief, called the department's rate of closing murder cases "astounding."
 
The chief said that while the declining homicide rate is good news, thefts and thefts from automobiles had gone up this year.  She said in the press conference that theft of small electronic devices are one of the force's biggest challenges.
 
The chief also said that the seven police districts would be realigned to more evenly spread calls for service. And a new initiative will allow victims of non-violent crimes, including theft, to report them online at their convenience.

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