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Chief Lanier Says Heller Decision Not Behind Drop in Murders

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By Patrick Madden

The number of homicides in D.C. in 2009 dropped by almost a quarter compared to the previous year. No one is really sure why, but the city's police chief says she knows what didn't cause the decline.

Wanna get a reaction from D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier?

Repeat the theory that Heller vs. D.C., the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the city's hand gun ban, is behind the drop in murders.

"Here is why that absolutely, positively cannot be true," says Lanier. "Homicides in the District with the exception of a handful occur on the street."

Current city gun laws do not allow people to carry guns on the street.

"And burglaries are actually up in the District of Columbia since the Heller decision. We are actually up 2 percent," she says. "So, the criminals did not get the memo that you should not break into houses now because of the Heller decision."

A report out this week by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments shows violent crime, including homicides dropped throughout the region last year and it credits new technology and better information sharing between jurisdictions.

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