D.C. homicides up in 2013 after historic 2012 low

As of Dec. 30, the New York Police Department reported 333 killings — the fewest in recorded history — and far below the 419 homicides recorded last year, according to the mayor’s office. The city, which topped out at 2,245 homicides in 1990, has seen dramatic decreases over the last decade.

Even Chicago, which saw 500 homicides in 2012, experienced a decline in 2013, with city officials reporting 413 homicides as of Dec. 30.

“It’s about resources. Big cities have invested enormously,” Mr. Roman said of public safety initiatives. “It’s the mid-sized cities where the trouble seems to be.”

Mr. Roman cited both Baltimore and Indianapolis as cities struggling to reduce the number of homicides. Both cities have seen homicide spikes this year, but in each city police chiefs have sought to make residents feel safe by downplaying the deaths.

Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite said an analysis of the city’s 109 homicides showed that 86 of the murder victims this year had “local adult criminal histories,” according to the Indianapolis Star.

A similar assertion by Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts made waves Tuesday. The commissioner said in a WBAL-TV interview that crime in the city is “localized” and that “everyday citizens” are seeing crime drops, despite an increase in the number of homicides for the last two years.

“Just saying its just criminals engaging in criminal lifestyles misses some real opportunities to work on some places that have been poisoned and can be inoculated against violence,” Mr. Roman said.

In the coming year, he expects technology to play a major role in reducing violence both locally and in police departments across the country.

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