(WASHINGTON, DC) — Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier today announced that the summer of 2011 is one the safest that the District has experienced in some time. Homicides have dropped to an unprecedented low level in the first two months of the summer of 2011. In June and July, the District recorded 16 homicides -- a 43 percent reduction when compared to the same period in 2010, which, at 28 homicides, itself set a previous low.
“Our city is safer due to a citywide collaborative effort to reduce crime and violent offenses,” said Mayor Gray. “The District’s partner agencies were instrumental in providing summer programs and other opportunities to offset idle time that could lead to criminal activity. Our ‘One City Summer Fun…Something for Everyone’ was a pivotal program that contributed to a drop in crime in the District.”
Crime stats indicate that the total of 16 homicides is 54 percent below the average of the previous five years. So far in 2011, homicides are down 8 percent, which includes a 54 percent reduction in the Seventh Police District. The homicide clearance rate is currently 86 percent.
“The reduction in homicides this summer demonstrates that when police, communities and the criminal justice system work together, we can prevent homicides,” said Chief Lanier. “Although any homicide is still too many, I am pleased at the continued progress toward our goal of having fewer than 100 homicides a year in the District of Columbia.”
Mayor Gray applauded the efforts and the strategic collaboration between over 30 partner agencies, including DC Public Schools (DCPS), the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice (DMPSJ), the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), the Department of Mental Health (DMH), the Department of Health (DOH), Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS), the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), the Department of Employment Services (DOES), members of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) and other District agencies. This collaborative effort created programs designed to foster safe communities throughout the District this summer, with a special emphasis on programs to keep children and youths safe and engaged in productive and educational activities.
One of Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s top priorities for his administration is safe communities. A key initiative in support of this priority has been the Metropolitan Police Department’s Operation Summer Ice. During this targeted initiative, MPD focused attention on the highest-risk repeat violent offenders in neighborhoods with high levels of violence in order to intervene in conflict and deter future violence. The Department has also worked with partner agencies to provide services to juveniles in these high-risk neighborhoods to provide productive activities now and build constructive relationships for the future.
During the three-month-long initiative, homicides decreased 71 percent in the target areas. Robbery and assaults with a dangerous weapon each declined 20 percent in the target areas.