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What's New in the MPDC 12/31/04

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  • Nick
    What s New in the MPDC – December 31, 2004 ********************************************* CHIEF RAMSEY THANKS MPDC MEMBERS AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS FOR A
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2005
      What's New in the MPDC – December 31, 2004

      Remarkably, it's time once again to reflect on our efforts of the
      past year and to look ahead to the challenges of the new year. 2004
      has been an extraordinary year for the MPDC and the communities we
      serve. For the first time since 1986, DC is poised to record fewer
      than 200 homicides in a year – a remarkable achievement given that,
      just over a decade ago, our city was enduring close to 500 murders a
      year. While homicides declined more than 20 percent during 2004,
      overall crime is down as well – in every major crime category and in
      all seven police districts, according to preliminary statistics. At
      the same time, traffic fatalities in our city plummeted 35 percent in
      2004 – to the lowest level in at least 18 years – while arrests and
      firearm recoveries have increased. All of these positive trends are
      the result of one overriding factor: the level of commitment and
      partnership among police, other city agencies and the community. In
      May 2004, our Department restructured the Police Service Area (PSA)
      boundaries, to better match neighborhood boundaries and better
      support our "Policing for Prevention" (community policing) strategy.
      Our police officers, supervisors and residents responded to this
      change with tremendous energy and determination – attending PSA
      meetings, forming citizen patrols, creating community listservs and
      getting involved in problem-solving efforts. In addition, under the
      leadership of Mayor Williams, we launched the "hot spot" initiative
      that is concentrating police and other city on 14 distinct
      neighborhoods that have experienced unusually high levels of crime
      and violence. We also expanded "Operation Fight Back," regular
      blitzes that are designed to clean up the conditions that can breed
      crime and disorder in neighborhoods throughout the District. And we
      were far more nimble and strategic in how we deploy police resources
      to address emerging crime problems before they spiral out of control.
      This was largely the result of our Daily Crime Briefings, in which
      top personnel review the latest crime data on computerized maps in
      our Command Center. I do not believe it is simply a coincidence that
      these and other initiatives coincided with the significant drop in
      crime that DC experienced in 2004. And we made these gains in
      neighborhood safety while continuing to help guard our city against
      the very real threat of terrorism. Of course, the year was not
      without its challenges and its heartaches. We lost 24 young lives to
      homicide during 2004 – an intolerable loss of life and opportunity.
      Reducing juvenile crime and violence – both victimization and
      offending – will be a top priority of the MPDC during 2005. So will
      driving down the crime rate even further and reducing the level of
      fear in many of our communities. To achieve these objectives, the
      MPDC will once again need to rely on our partners in city government
      and, especially, in the community. For the new year, I encourage all
      of our residents to get to know your PSA officers, attend PSA
      meetings and to get involved in other community policing activities.
      The more our residents are involved, the better and stronger our
      communities will be. On behalf of the entire MPDC, I extend my
      heartfelt thanks to the community for your support and assistance
      throughout the past year. We truly could not have achieved what we
      did without all of you. And may you enjoy a happy, safe and
      prosperous 2005.
      – Charles H. Ramsey, Chief of Police

      FOOTNOTE I: Find your police district and PSA by visiting the DC
      Guide at:

      FOOTNOTE II: For ideas on how you can get involved in "Policing for
      Prevention" during 2005, click on:

      For the first time in nearly two decades, DC is poised to record
      fewer than 200 murders in a year. As of 12 noon on Friday, December
      31, there had been 196 homicides in the city during 2004 – a decline
      of 21 percent from the 2003 year-end total of 248. The last time DC
      recorded fewer than 200 murders in a year was back in 1986, when
      there were 194. The 2004 total is less than half of the 1994 figure
      of 399, and is nearly 60 percent lower than the 1991 figure of 482,
      which was the all-time high for murders in DC. Except for the Second
      District, all police districts recorded reductions in homicide during
      2004; in 2D, there were three homicides in 2004 (the lowest among all
      districts), up from 2 the previous year. Preliminary data show that
      firearms were used in 77 percent of the homicides in 2004; knives
      were used in just under 10 percent of the murders. Both figures are
      similar to percentages from recent years. The most common motives
      behind the homicides in 2004 were arguments, retaliation, drugs and
      robberies. Nearly 96 percent of the 2004 homicide victims were
      African-American (84 percent male, 12 percent female). Twenty-four of
      the year's victims were juveniles, age 17 or younger. That was double
      the 2003 total of juvenile victims, which was 12. Four juveniles were
      arrested for murder in 2004. The homicide closure rate for 2004 was
      just under 60 percent, largely unchanged from the 2003 level. Get the
      latest DC homicide figures at:

      FOOTNOTE: For the first time in several years, the MPDC recovered
      more than 2,000 firearms during 2004. By year end, police had seized
      close to 2,100 firearms, compared with 1,982 in 2003.

      The Sex Offender Registration Act of 1999 established a sex offender
      registration program for DC and authorized the MPDC to release sex
      offender information to the public. This law requires a person
      convicted, or found not guilty by reason of insanity, of certain sex
      offenses to register with the District, provided the individual
      lives, works, or attends school here. Generally speaking, an offense
      requiring registration is a felony sexual assault (regardless of the
      age of the victim); an offense involving sexual abuse or exploitation
      of minors; or sexual abuse of wards, patients, or clients. The Court
      Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) completes the
      initial registration. The MPDC is responsible for making available to
      the public information regarding sex offenders, including residence,
      business or school address and the conviction offense that required
      registration. Under DC law, sex offenders are classified as Class A,
      B or C offenders – with Class A being the most serious offenders. A
      list of Class A and B registered sex offenders is provided on the
      MPDC website as a service to the community. In addition, community
      members can visit any police station or the Sex Offender Registry
      Unit and inspect a public registry that contains information on all
      registered sex offenders (Class A, B and C) in DC. The MPDC reminds
      residents that information from the Sex Offender Registry is to be
      used responsibly to promote public safety. Under no circumstances may
      the information be used to commit a crime against a person listed in
      the Registry or to engage in illegal discrimination or harassment
      against such a person. For more information about DC's Sex Offender
      Registry, and to access the online list of registered Class A and B
      offenders, go to:

      FOOTNOTE: Parents and others who want more information about
      protecting children from sexual predators are encouraged to review
      some basic safety tips, available at:

      NEWS & NOTES
      Remembering Fallen Heroes of 2004. As of December 23, 154 law
      enforcement officers across the nation were killed in the line of
      duty during 2004. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers
      Memorial Fund, this is the third year in a row that the number has
      been well below the decade-long average of 164 annual law enforcement
      deaths. Tragically, the MPDC lost two members in line-of-duty deaths
      during 2004: Sergeant John Ashley and Sergeant Clifton Rife II. For
      details on the national trend, go to:

      Police Accountability Agency Changes Name. Effective January 1, 2005,
      the Office of Citizen Complaint Review (OCCR), DC's police
      accountability agency, is officially renamed the Office of Police
      Complaints. OCCR's five-member governing body, the Citizen Complaint
      Review Board (CCRB), is simultaneously renamed the Police Complaints
      Board (PCB). The Mayor and DC Council recently enacted legislation to
      rename the agency in order to more clearly convey the agency's
      mission. The OPC will continue to provide an independent, fair and
      impartial forum for the review and resolution of certain police
      misconduct complaints filed by the public against MPDC and DC Housing
      Authority Police Department (DCHAPD) officers. Details on the name
      change are at:

      SoberRide. The Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) provides
      New Year's revelers with free cab rides home (up to $50) until 4 am
      on January 1, 2005. People can call the SoberRide program at (800)
      200-TAXI (200-8294); Cingular Wireless customers can access the
      service by dialing #TAXI. More details at:

      Talk with Chief Ramsey this Week. Chief Ramsey discusses public
      safety issues and takes phone calls and emails on two media programs
      this week: "News Talk," from 5-6 pm, on Wednesday, January 5, on News
      Channel 8; and "Ask the Chief," from 10-11 am, Thursday, January 6,
      on WTOP radio. Details at:

      Get MPDC News via Email. Register with DC.gov to receive email
      notifications of all news releases issued by the MPDC. Details at:

      DATA BOX
      Homicides (as of 12/31/04)
      · 2004: 196
      · 2003: 248
      · % Change: -21.0%
      · Closure Rate: 58.7% (115 closures)

      Arrests, Adult Suspects (week ending 12/25/04)
      · Total: 597
      · Drugs: 102
      · Weapons: 16
      · Motor Vehicle Theft: 13
      · Prostitution/Sex Offenses: 22

      Juvenile Activity (week ending 12/25/04)
      · Arrests: 45
      · Curfew violators: 16
      · Truants: 21

      Firearm Recoveries (as of 12/29/04)
      · December: 170
      · 2004 Total: 2,057

      Traffic Fatalities (as of 12/31/04)
      · 2004: 45
      · 2003: 69
      · % Change: -34.8%


      Information, ideas or comments about this service?

      E-mail Kevin Morison, MPDC's Director of Corporate Communications, at

      Metropolitan Police Department Website
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