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Towards the lowest homicide rate since 1971

12/07/2008 8:43 AM by

The RTD has an in-depth look at the drop in violent crime in the city and what has helped make the change.

Some nuggets from the article:

  • Richmond led the nation in per capita homicides in 1994, with 160.
  • Richmond police report 33 homicides so far in 2008.
  • Should 2008 see another year-over-year decline in homicides, it would mark the fourth consecutive annual drop.
  • All but five of this year’s 33 homicide cases — or 84.8 percent — have been cleared by arrest. Investigators also have cleared 13 cold homicide cases this year, boosting their overall clearance rate to 124.2 percent.
  • Officials also attribute the success to a community-oriented sector-policing strategy put in place by former Police Chief Rodney Monroe.
  • Law-enforcement officials say one reason homicides are down is because prosecutors are hammering violent drug dealers and other offenders by asking for tough sentences.
  • When police have a suspect, they try to pick him or her up quickly, even if it is only on something as minor as a simple drug-possession charge. As soon as a killer is in custody, witnesses become more cooperative because a threat of retaliation has been removed, officials say.
  • When police have a suspect, they try to pick him or her up quickly, even if it is only on something as minor as a simple drug-possession charge. As soon as a killer is in custody, witnesses become more cooperative because a threat of retaliation has been removed, officials say.

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