Homicides in the District have dropped 29 percent this year and violent crime overall has decreased 5 percent compared to this time last year, according to statistics from the Metropolitan Police Department.

D.C. Chief of Police Cathy Lanier attributed the drop in violent crime to the efforts of MPD officers and MPD programs developed in the past two years.

“If I had to say, the two most important things are our programs focusing on violent offenders and support from the community,” Lanier said. “We’ve put a huge campaign together to get the community back involved and comfortable talking to the police. We’ve seen a tremendous uptick in what we get from the community.”

PD has focused investigations on the District’s most violent offenders, many of whom Lanier said are involved in gangs, and has upgraded its technology – incorporating text messaging and e-mail into its crime reporting systems – in the past two years.

Only robbery with a gun has seen an increase in D.C. this year, rising 16 percent.

Violent crime rates at Georgetown have also been historically low, according to Joseph Smith, associate director of the Department of Public Safety. While reported thefts have increased, burglaries have dropped.

DPS maintains a strong relationship with MPD in order to share information about crimes in the vicinity of campus, Smith said. DPS investigators meet with MPD officers weekly to assess any threats to the campus community.

“They respond quickly to assist us with calls for service, and we work closely in a supporting role when they conduct investigations on or near campus,” Smith said.

Lanier declined to comment on MPD’s search for the person or persons responsible for the series of similar sexual assaults and break-ins commonly attributed to a [“Georgetown Cuddler.” ](http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist/2009/09/16/a-georgetown-cuddler-timeline/)

Lanier did advise female college students to be careful about with whom they socialize and how much they choose to drink.

While Smith called the decrease in violent crime encouraging, he said students should continue to be aware of potential risks on and near campus. He urged students to avail themselves of services such as SafeRides and security escorts.

“Doing so will make them feel more safe than statistical awareness,” Smith said.

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