2009 Saw Big Decline in D.C. Murders

Murder rate drops 25 percent in 2009

D.C. police are busy working two separate murder investigations on the last day of the year. Despite Thursday's crimes, though, the District is about to end 2009 with the lowest number of murders since 1964.

The homicide rate is down 25 percent from last year, with 141 murders in D.C. so far this year -- compared to last year when police reported 186 murders.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier says her officers are focusing on repeat offenders and working in the community to gain the trust of citizens. "Over the last two years, we've seen both of those two key strategies really start to come together," Lanier said.

Several years ago the DC police department had a 55 percent closure rate in murder cases, so far in 2009 the closure rate is at 75 percent.

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