- The Washington Times - Monday, October 8, 2001

Reported crime in the District dropped briefly after last month's terrorist attacks, but since has returned to normal levels, D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said.
He said that in the week after the Sept. 11 attacks the overall crime rate dropped 24 percent in the city compared with the same period a year ago.
In the subsequent week, police said, crime was down 7 percent from last year.
Though police said even criminals may have been shaken by the terrorist attacks, they resist characterizing the tragedy as the cause of the dip in reported crime.
"It's difficult to try to draw a correlation between the drop in crime and the terrorist attacks because crime has been going down steadily anyway," Metropolitan Police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said.
Despite the decrease in crime, police remained busy.
Chief Ramsey said police had to check out 41 bomb threats and 77 reports of suspicious packages in the two days following the terrorist attacks.
He also said supplementing security at federal buildings, managing last weekend's war protests and directing city traffic had strained department resources, but that neighborhood policing levels were returning to normal.
The Bush administration has approved immediate payment to reimburse the city for costs associated with the terrorist attacks. Most of the first payment of $5.9 million will go to cover police overtime.
Elsewhere in the region, police said reported crime levels remained steady last month.
Montgomery County saw no change in the number of arrests in the weeks before and after Sept. 11, police department spokeswoman Officer Amy Homrock said.
She said the county recorded 223 arrests the week of Sept. 4 through Sept. 10 and an identical number between Sept. 11 and Sept. 17.
However, dispatcher calls rose 8 percent in the week after the attacks.
"That could be attributable to somebody seeing a suspicious package on the ground. A week ago, they would have walked past it," she said.
Prince George's County police didn't have crime-trend data available yet but said they did notice a "significant increase" in the number of bomb threats and reports of suspicious packages.
Police said they typically receive about one or two such calls a week, but that number rose to an average of one a day after the attacks, with as many as six reported in one day. They said those numbers seem to be tapering off.
Alexandria police Lt. John Crawford said his department saw no difference in crime reports.
"We didn't see anything spike, we didn't see anything dip," he said. "It just kind of stayed the same."
Fairfax County police also reported no noticeable difference in crime trends, with one exception. The county's bias crime coordinator, 2nd Lt. Mike Dittmer, noted a surge in bias incidents since the attacks.
"We've had a significant increase since Sept. 11," he said. "Prior to September 11, we had seven bias cases for the whole year related to ethnicity or national origin. Since September 11, it's probably up around 25 or 30."

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