A MORBID end-of-year ritual for local law enforcement officials is the annual tally of people murdered. That 2012 is likely to see historic lows in homicides for the District of Columbia as well as neighboring Prince George’s County is clearly welcome news. But as local officials are right to stress, the numbers don’t lessen the pain of the lives lost or the need to redouble efforts against crime.
“I still think about [the] families who have lost somebody. So it’s certainly not, it’s not victory. But it feels like a good milestone for us. I think we passed the tipping point,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told Homicide Watch D.C. of the prospect that the District would have fewer than 100 homicides this year. As of Thursday, 86 slayings had been reported, which is 20 percent lower than last year at this time; the figure would place Washington on a trajectory to have the lowest number of homicides since 1963. In Prince George’s, there were 63 homicides as of Thursday, down from 95 in 2011 and a likely 25-year low.