The District of Columbia's 2012 murder statistics are in and the city had its lowest number of homicides in half a century. It's a statistic politicians are eager to publicize.
"We are on course now to have the lowest number of homicides since 1960," D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said at a press conference this week.
Reducing violent crime will continue to be one of his administration's top priorities in 2013, Gray said. There were 82 homicides in the district this year.
"We certainly had some issues that were challenging, and we continue to," Gray added. Police Chief Cathy Lanier credited the department's strict enforcement of gun control laws, the work of its gang intelligence unit and greater cooperation with communities where violence is a problem during an interview with Homicide Watch DC.
Fewer fights are ending in fatalities because the District has made it harder for residents to carry illegal guns, Lanier added. When Lanier started as a patrol officers in 1990 there were 479 murders in the District, but 82 is still too many, she said.