Chief Lanier Responds on Rising Crime in D.C.

MPD police car by CliffPolice Chief Cathy Lanier, in an email to MPD listservs today, shared the Metropolitan Police Department’s analysis of the recent rise in violent crime in the District. “I wanted to make sure that I shared the facts with our community members on violent crime in the city,” Lanier wrote.

In the brief report, Lanier sought to place D.C. in the context of a national trend of rising crime facing major cities. She cited patterns of increasing gun-related violence, growing homicide rates, and the impact of synthetic drugs.

As of August 25, 2015, the report states there have been 103 homicides in Washington, D.C., up from 72 homicides at the same time last year. The rise has been concentrated in the 5th Police District in Northeast, which includes the neighborhoods of Brookland, Ivy City, Trinidad and Woodridge, and the 7th Police District in Southeast, which includes the neighborhoods of Anacostia, Barry Farm, Naylor Gardens, and Washington Highlands. Collectively, the two districts have seen 57 homicides so far in 2015. The 7th District alone is facing a 95% increase in homicides over last year.

By comparison, five homicides occurred in the 2nd Police District, which covers most of Northwest (including the greater Tenleytown area). They include the horrific quadruple homicide of the Savopoulos family and their housekeeper in May. Eighty percent of homicides in the 2nd District have been closed by the police. Only half have been closed in the 5th and 7th districts; just a third of the 12 homicides in the 3rd District are closed cases.

Criticized recently for a lack of clarity in the drivers behind the spike in crime, Lanier’s report points to: the release of repeat violent offenders, a rise in synthetic drug use, and an increase in domestic violence resulting in fatalities. She also responded to critics who say that the dissolution of VICE units has been a contributing factor in increased homicides. Emphasizing that the rise in murders began before their dissolution, Lanier writes that the units had “ceased to be as effective as they once were.”

Click here for the full text of “Addressing Violent Crime in Washington D.C.

For more information on crime trends in our area, visit the Public Safety section of the Tenleytown, D.C. website. In addition, the Citizens Advisory Council for the 2nd Police District will meet on August 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the 2nd District Station, 3320 Idaho Avenue, NW. The meeting is open to the public.

Photo Credit: flickr user Cliff