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Murders Down 43 Percent In D.C. After Coordinated City Effort

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A collaborative effort by Metropolitan Police and nearly 30 other agencies this summer has led to a drop in crime.
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A collaborative effort by Metropolitan Police and nearly 30 other agencies this summer has led to a drop in crime.

Authorities in D.C. say this summer has been one of the safest on record, with the number of homicides down 43 percent from last year.

Mayor Vincent Gray is crediting the city's summer crime-fighting initiative.

Gray says as part of the initiative he ordered more than 30 different agencies and departments to work together on crime prevention and community policing.

Examples include police officers who worked with young people and firefighters helping to keep the streets safe.

"It's a different way of doing business and it's put our agency directors who really are quite extraordinary in a position where they have to work with each other," says Gray. "There's mutual interdependence that for each to be successful they really work with each other."

The mayor also credits a police program called "Summer Ice," in which police in neighborhoods with high levels of violence identified and arrested high-risk, repeat violent offenders, or as Chief Cathy Lanier put it, "those who can't play by the rules."

Gray says the summer initiative was so successful, he plans to implement it year-round.

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