Counting homicide cases in D.C.
In December, D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier announced that her department has achieved a 94 percent closure rate for homicides in 2011. But a close look at the case by The Washington Post reveals that police closed 62 of 108 homicides that year, a 57 percent rate. Lanier's department achieved the higher rate by including about 40 cases from earlier years that were closed in 2011. The chief says FBI guidelines allow her to count cases that way.
108 D.C. homicides in 2011
The District had its lowest yearly homicide total in nearly 50 years.
- = Homicide case
94.4% of cases closed according to D.C. police
Chief Lanier's office reported that 102 of 108 cases were closed, an exceptionally high closure rate.
- = Case closed in 2011
40 cases from previous years
D.C. police included about 40 homicide cases from previous years
that were closed in 2011, resulting in the higher closure rate.
57.4% of actual 2011 cases closed
A Washington Post analysis of homicides committed in 2011 reveals the actual number of cases
solved for the calendar year is 62, far less than Chief Lanier's report.
SOURCE: D.C. Police Department, Baltimore Police Department, Prince George's County Police Department, FBI. GRAPHIC: Wilson Andrews, Todd Lindeman and Cheryl Thompson - The Washington Post. Published Feb 19, 2012.