In the early 1990s, Washington, D.C., was not-so-lovingly known as the "murder capital of America," with one of the highest murder rates in the United States. But times are changing in the District - last year, the city recorded just 108 homicides, its lowest murder rate in nearly 50 years, a significant improvement from its 1991 peak of 479.
Across the United States, murder rates are dropping. No place has exemplified that trend more than D.C.'s neighbor, Arlington County, Virginia. In the last two years the county has recorded exactly zero homicides. It's the first time this has happened since the department opened in 1940.
Washington-area's ABC7 reports:
The record is a first for chief Doug Scott's department. He said in his 36 years service, he hasn’t seen back-to-back years without homicides. ... Arlington police attribute their positive crime stats to enforcement, good neighbors and a bit of luck. Scott says there have been a number of close calls that could have been homicides.
Of course, the county, with a population of 200,000 - one-third the size of Washington, D.C. - isn't a crime-free utopia. Around 600 violent crimes were reported in the last two years. Nonetheless, it's an impressive accomplishment for Arlington, which boasts a densely-populated center that could function as a city in its own right.
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