Washington, D.C., Set for Less Than 100 Murders in 2012
Nation's capital could have lowest number of homicides since 1963
After suffering nearly 500 murders a year during the crack epidemic of the early 90s, Washington, D.C., is on pace to have less than 100 murders this year, a milestone not seen since 1963, police records show.
The number of murders in the city has declined steadily over the past decade.
"It strikes me probably daily as I ride around the city, or sometimes when I'm sitting at home at night, and it's 10 o'clock and my phone's not ringing. Or I get up in the morning, and I go, 'Oh my gosh, I've slept five hours," said Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who joined the department in 1991 amid regularly occurring street violence. "It strikes me quite often how different things are now."
Despite overwhelming violence in Chicago, the drop in homicides in D.C. reflects a downward trend in violent crime nationwide and is in line with fewer homicides seen in other big cities. New York City officials say homicides dropped to 515 last year from more than 2,200 in 1990. Houston reported 198 homicides last year, down from 457 in 1985, while Los Angeles police reported fewer than 300 last year after ending 1992 with about 1,100.
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The FBI reported that violent crime reported by police nationwide fell by 3.8 percent last year from 2010.