07 January, 2011

MPD States there is a 46 Year Low in Homicides


At the close of 2010, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) announced a reduction
in homicides that was a 46-year low. The District finished the year 2010 with 131 homicides, a
nine percent decrease from last year. MPD also finished the year with a homicide closure rate
of 79 percent, which is well above the national average and an increase over the year before.

“I am thankful for the dedication and hard work of the men and women of the
Metropolitan Police Department, and the commitment from our partners in the community
and other government agencies, that are helping us to make the city safer,” said Cathy L.

Lanier, Chief of Police. “I especially want to commend the members of the Homicide Branch
for their efforts and the intelligence and patrol units for their increased work.”

Many initiatives have contributed to the reduction in homicides and other crimes. MPD
continues to reduce violent gun crime by focusing on violent offenders, taking illegal guns
taken off the street, and launching innovative programs such as the Gun Offender Registry and the
Firearm Tip Reward Program. In 2010, robberies committed with guns decreased 20 percent and assaults committed with guns were down 10 percent. Since 2007, the Department has taken 10,000 illegal guns off the streets.

The Department has worked to build stronger relationships with community members,
with both a physical and virtual presence. The Department has adopted an aggressive
deployment of officers on footbeats, bicycles, and Segways. In four years, MPD has gone
from just a handful of officers assigned to regular foot patrol, to more than 300 deployed on
foot patrol on all three shifts in neighborhoods across the city. Forty Segways are assigned
to the police districts, and an additional 20 Segways are used to patrol around schools. In
addition, almost 100 officers patrol on mountain bikes every day.

MPD has reinvigorated community email groups to enhance communication with city
residents, and to provide a 24-hour a day virtual police presence. Police districts post crime
stats and prevention tips daily. Community members communicate with police leaders
in the districts and each other about important information to keep their neighborhoods
safe. Questions or concerns posted to these are usually answered immediately, often by top
command members. The police email group community has grown by 38 percent over the
past two years.

The Department’s phone tip line and anonymous text message have seen significant
growth in usage. In two years, the number of tips received has increased. And many of
these tips are valuable: monetary rewards for tips leading to an arrest and indictment have
more than doubled.

In addition to a consecutive year of low homicide numbers, the city also experienced a
decline in traffic fatalities for the second year in a row. In 2009, the number of traffic fatalities
was 33 – the lowest in 25 years. In 2010, there were 25 traffic related deaths.

No comments: