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DC Police Chief calls on community to continue 'downward trend' in crime

2022 saw a total of 203 homicides in D.C., but a 7% reduction in violent crimes overall compared to 2021.

WASHINGTON — Editor's note: The above video is from Oct. 31, 2022.

DC Police Chief Robert Contee III said it is up to all of us to make 2023 a less violent year than 2022. The year came to a close with a total of 203 homicides in the District. In a statement released on New Year's Day, Contee said the violence seen in the city is unacceptable and must stop now.

"Gun violence is an epidemic that is tearing life from our city. What’s left behind are the countless friends and family members whose lives have been forever changed," Contee said in a statement.

D.C. saw an overall decrease in crime in 2022, with a 7% reduction in violent crime and a 3% drop in property crimes when compared to 2021, according to the police chief. 

"We know that those statistics do not bring comfort to the family members of the crime victims in 2022. It is up to all of us, as we start 2023, to do everything in our power to continue the downward trend of violence in the District of Columbia," Contee said.

Contee pointed to some of the positive work his department did in 2022, including getting an average of eight illegal guns off the street every day last year. Contee said his department continues to use an "intelligence-led" policing strategy to target individuals known to commit acts of violence, as well as "data-driven deployment strategies" to target high crime areas an emerging trends.

While Contee said his department is working hard to protect communities in D.C., he asked neighbors to remain vigilant.

"We can’t do this alone. In every incident, someone knows something. It might seem like something small, but that information could be a piece of the puzzle that helps our detectives solve cases and bring justice to loved ones of victims," Contee said. "Together, we can put an end to the violence in our communities."

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