WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Arson Definition Changes In D.C., Dramatically Altering Closure Rate

Play associated audio
The revised definition of arson now only covers cases where there is sufficient evidence of intent to make an arrest.
Markette Smith
The revised definition of arson now only covers cases where there is sufficient evidence of intent to make an arrest.

D.C. Fire Department officials say they've changed the perameters for the definition of arson in the District. The move is helping the department increase its closure rate for arson investigations.

The Washington Post reports that the fire department narrowed the definition from deliberately set fires to those in which there was evidence of willful or malicious intent sufficient to support an arrest.

That led to a drop of nearly 80 percent in arsons between fiscal 2009 and 2012 — and increase in the closure rate for investigators.

The fire department says the numbers may seem low because its only counting proven cases that have led to charges.

And according to a department spokesperson, the distinction is part of a more detailed analysis of arson case identification and closure.

NPR

Writer James Alan McPherson, Winner Of Pulitzer, MacArthur And Guggenheim, Dies At 72

McPherson, the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, has died at 72. His work explored the intersection of white and black lives with deftness, subtlety and wry humor.
NPR

Oyster Archaeology: Ancient Trash Holds Clues To Sustainable Harvesting

Modern-day oyster populations in the Chesapeake are dwindling, but a multi-millennia archaeological survey shows that wasn't always the case. Native Americans harvested the shellfish sustainably.

WAMU 88.5

Your Turn: Ronald Reagan's Shooter, Freddie Gray Verdicts And More

Have opinions about the Democratic National Convention, or the verdicts from the Freddie Gray cases? It's your turn to talk.

NPR

Writing Data Onto Single Atoms, Scientists Store The Longest Text Yet

With atomic memory technology, little patterns of atoms can be arranged to represent English characters, fitting the content of more than a billion books onto the surface of a stamp.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.