(AP David Goldman)
As the summer nears its end, the death toll in D.C. is not subsiding. The city’s homicide count, for 2015, currently stands at 91 victims, a 28.2 percent increase, from 71 victims, at the same time last year.
Causes for the spike in homicides can be attributed to several different factors, including synthetic drugs, gangs and inadequate police units patrolling neighborhoods. An additional cause could also be the illegal gun trade.
To resolve the issue, several government entities from the Mayor and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners to the police department and the District’s Office of Police Complaints are working to strengthen relationships between the community and officers. These entities are also promoting stricter polices against synthetic drugs along with other measures. Unfortunately, in spite of these efforts, there is no quick fix solution to solving D.C.’s rising homicide rate.
Even so, caution should be noted. The current multiple murders in per day trend presents the city with a troubling reality. There is a possibility that it could catch up to Baltimore’s horrendous homicide rate, which recently exceeded more than 200 homicides. Or, even worse, it could go back to the murderous environment of 1996 when the district homicide rate exceeded more than 300 victims. Whatever the outcome, it is almost assured that a continued increase in homicides can only be disastrous for the District, its residents and visitors.