Murder Rates Drop Across the Country

Baltimore may see their lowest homicide count since the 1980s.

Posted: 12/27/2011 06:18 PM EST

As the year comes to a close, homicide rates continue to be released and some cities are hitting record lows.


Among those cities, Baltimore, whose lawless side has been the subject of several TV crime dramas, is on track to recording its fewest murders since the early 1980s. The Maryland city counted 194 homicides this year through midday Friday, down from 219 the year before at the same point.


Other jurisdictions such as California and the District of Columbia have seen lower homicide rates as well. In a report released earlier this month, the Dept. of Justice found the homicide rate in California to have dropped to its lowest level in 40 years — 4.7 homicides for every 100,000 people, a 7.8 percent drop since 2009.


The number of homicides in the District also dropped more than 15 percent (to 81 homicides), fewer than the 96 homicides reported by the same time last year.


City leaders credit the decline on fewer repeat violent offenders and increased community engagement.


With murder rates 10 times the national average, some cities, such as New Orleans, have not been as successful in lowering their homicide rates, but city officials have been in talks with the Justice Dept. to discuss reforms.


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