During Chief Cathy Lanier’s tenure, murders have dropped from 181 yearly to 88. (Carol Guzy/The Washington Post)

The District finished 2012 with 88 homicides, the lowest yearly total the city has seen since the early 1960s. The reasons are many, Allison Klein reports in The Washington Post: Fewer hardcore gangs, a changing drug trade, new police tactics, an investment in police technology, a payout of $600,000 in reward money. But even accounting, as Homicide Watch does, for four additional killings ruled self-defense, it’s a historic dip under the 100-murder milestone. In the Washington Times, Andrea Noble reports that Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier now has a new number in mind: “For a city our size, there shouldn’t be more than 50 homicides,” Lanier said.

In other news:

Council members will be sworn in at 10 a.m. today (WTOP)

Phil Mendelson needs to give the D.C. Council a “better sense of mission” (Post editorial)

Parents at schools slated for closure present counterproposals to DCPS (Post)

U.S. attorney’s office: On corruption probes, “we have much more to do in 2013” (Examiner)

Aging South Capitol Street bridge will get $660 million replacement (PostWAMU-FMDCistExaminer)

Lanier used her controversial bar-closing powers 15 times in 2012 (Post)

Jonetta Rose Barras thinks Allen Sessoms got a raw deal (Examiner)

Cop challenges camera tickets based on the fact that they were enforcing a higher-than-posted speed limit (WaTimes)

Congress drops plans for World War I memorial in D.C. (WaTimes)

What Barack Obama can do for D.C. in his second term (Examiner)

Thieves take dozens of laptops from Next Step charter school (WJLA-TV)

Just hours in to the new year, a Metrobus stabbing (Crime Scene)

Lowe’s will join Costco at Fort Lincoln (WBJ)

Badly needed retail for Hill East (WBJ)

Former GWU president Lloyd Elliot is dead at 92 (Post)