The Washington Post's Martin Weil reports that the rate of homicides in D.C. for 2010 has fallen below last year's rate. And if the trend continues, the number of homicides in the District will be the fewest in decades.
Weil reports that D.C. police count 69 homicides on the year so far, below the 84 homicides this time last year. He notes that D.C. could wind up with 115 homicides -- below the 2009 figure (143) and the fewest since 1966.
In fact, the news is even better. The homicide total for 2010 could be the lowest on record since 1963, when the District recorded 95 homicides. The projection of 115 homicides would fall well below the total number of homicides for 1964, which was 132.
Statistics provided by the Disaster Center's Rothstein Catalogue for Disaster Planning show that total homicides remained in the double digits from 1960 through 1963 -- then spiked in 1964 with a 28% increase.
From 1964 on, the homicide totals have stayed in the triple digits, rising to a peak in 1991 with 482 murders. Since that time, homicide figures have fallen dramatically.
The Post also reports relatively few homicides for the summer, including a below-average five homicides for July -- which tied for the hottest month on record. And the Post notes that police are making more arrests in more cases this year, closing cases in 57 homicides for a rate of 82.6 percent.