Washington, D.C.’s 2008 homicide total is on pace to equal last year’s while nearby jurisdictions are experiencing fewer slayings, suggesting that city leaders are struggling to maintain significant declines in the homicide rate, the Washington Times reports. “It’s perplexing why the number of homicides is not going down in [Washington] when it is going down elsewhere,” said D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson, chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary.
Police Department statistics show that 175 homicides were reported as of yesterday, equal to the number on the same date last year. There were 181 last year. Baltimore’s homicide rate has dropped from 270 last year to 221 to date, and Richmond’s homicides stood at 33 compared with 50 in 2007. In Philadelphia, homicides have dropped from 375 to 313. “These are jurisdictions right next door to us and all of them consistently have dropped homicides over the last year,” said Officer Kristopher Baumann, who heads the Fraternal Order of Police’s labor committee. “Something’s wrong.”