Past Decade Marks Decrease in D.C. Homicides
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 02:10
Despite a drop in the D.C. area’s homicide rate, less than a third of homicide cases have led to a conviction in the past decade.
According to a study by The Washington Post, the decrease in D.C.’s homicide rate in the city represents significant progress for a city that was once labeled the “murder capital of the country” during the early 1990s. At its peak in 1991 the number of homicides was 482. Since then the number has fallen to 108 homicides in 2011.
Similarly, the recently reported homicide closure rate represents an improvement over past years. The closure rate for homicides in the district has risen from 49 percent in 2001 to 94 percent in 2011.
Georgetown, which has traditionally seen a lower crime rate than the rest of the city, has also seen a decreasing homicide rate. According to The Post’s report, the last homicide that occurred at the university was the murder of 20-year-old David Shick (MSB ’01) near the Healy Gates in 2000.
Just outside the university gates, however, the murder rate increases slightly, with the recent 2011 murders of Tyronn Garner on M Street last Oct. 31 and Viola Drath Aug. 12, 2011, near Wisconsin Avenue.
In the last decade, a total of five homicides were committed in the Georgetown neighborhood, which includes Burleith-Hillandale, West Village Georgetown, Waterfront Georgetown and East Village Georgetown.
The Metropolitan Police Department closed four of the homicides, giving the Georgetown area an 80 percent closure rate.
“I appreciate the support and collaboration we have with MPD and are fortunate that there are very few homicides in the area and none involving the university community,” Jay Gruber, chief of police and director of the Department of Public Safety, said.
Nonetheless, the small sample size of homicides in Georgetown makes the area difficult to compare to some of the city’s more dangerous neighborhoods, which contribute to the more than 1,000 homicides still left unsolved.