Weekend Reads: MPD Chief Cathy Lanier Responds to Crime Stats Story

MPD Chief Cathy Lanier responded in an editorial today to the Post’s report about how MPD calculates— and advertises— its annual homicide closure rate.

Wrote Lanier:

On Feb. 19, The Post published a front-page article headlined “The trick to D.C.’s homicide closure rate,” suggesting that the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) was somehow tricking the public by announcing that it had a 94 percent homicide closure rate. To support its slanted claims, the article used misleading and inflammatory quotes from ill-informed sources. Furthermore, the writer left out information supplied by my department that would have invalidated the assertions contained in the story.

The MPD’s homicide clearance rate is calculated, as it is in most police departments in the country, using the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) guidelines established by the FBI in the 1930s — guidelines that are the national standard for reporting homicide clearance rates. The UCR closure standard is not a new development in the District; it has been used by the D.C. police since the early 1980s.

Read Lanier’s full response here.

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