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“In the last 30 days, MPD has recovered 102 illegal firearms”

by Prince Of Petworth August 18, 2015 at 10:15 am 35 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user KJinDC

Credit where credit is due. With all the frustration and helplessness felt due to the recent rise in crime – it’s easy to forget that there are some good police out there doing very good work. Thank you.

@DCPoliceDept tweets:

“In the last 30 days, MPD has recovered 102 illegal firearms. This weekend alone, MPD recovered 10 illegal firearms.”

and though this could be read a few ways, still good work by some:

“So far this year, MPD has made 53 arrests for murder – compared to 38 arrests, at this time last year.”

  • What do they do with these firearms after recovering them?

    • Anon Spock

      I thought they were destroyed by melting.

  • I Dont Get It

    How many arrests for illegal gun possession?

    • yes

      All these people need to be going away for a long time.

    • Susan

      That is the statistic I would like to see too! I am glad these weapons are off the street, but hopefully the people carrying them are in jail too!

      • I Dont Get It

        Yeah it sort of sounds like they found them randomly on the sidewalk like chicken bones.

        • AG

          I imagine most of them were found during an arrest for another crime. I hope they tack this onto whatever charges they’re bringing against these people. Hopefully something sticks (wishful thinking).

        • Emilie504

          On the This American Life episodes about that school in Chicago the kids said you just knew where the guns were hidden. You couldn’t keep it on you or in your house, so they hid them around the neighborhood. So yeah, maybe the police are finding them like chicken bones.

    • jonah

      I imagine most of these recoveries are for illegal or unregistered gun possession. There is a daily arrest report you can get via MPD listserv groups. I see arrests in the Fourth District for “carrying with a license”, “unregistered firearm”, or “assault with a deadly weapon – gun” several times a month.

  • kwame

    OK great, now how about more federal prosecution for possession of these illegal guns?

  • anon

    Nice work MPD!! Getting those weapons off the street is a big part of reducing violent crime.

    • stats

      Must explain the declining murder rate.

  • Anon

    53 arrests? That’s it? And only 38 during the same time last year? I’d love to know how that stacks up against other metropolitan areas. That’s seems insanely low to me considering we now have multiple violent crimes per day in DC!

    • Susan

      too be fair, I think that is a pretty good number. Homicides are not the easiest of crimes to solve

  • Circle Thomas

    “So far this year, MPD has made 53 arrests for murder – compared to 38 arrests, at this time last year.”

    Last year at this time, there had been 72 murders, meaning that with 38 arrests, the clearance rate was 52.8%.

    This year, with 94 homicides so far, the clearance rate has only increased slightly, to 56.4%.

    Also, the murder rate is currently on track to spike back to 2009 levels.

    • Lisa

      +1. Raw numbers don’t mean anything without context.

      • MLM

        +1. I wanted to know this exact information while reading the 53 vs 38 statistic – thanks for providing.

  • Kingman Park

    Seeing as how there are almost double the homicides, there should be more murder arrests than last year.

    • I Dont Get It


    • d

      72×2 is not 92 so, no, not double, and not near to double.

      As PP rightly pointed out it is a slight increase in the closure rate from about 52% to 56%.

  • Lance Uppercut

    Some grand jury is going to have a fun couple of days handling RIP cases.

    • Sydney

      I’ll tell you, guns are involved, it makes the juror’s decision voting to indict a lot easier.

  • Brett M

    “MPD has made 53 arrests for murder – compared to 38 arrests, at this time last year.” Not really much of an improvement considering homicides are up over 30% on the year. And the closure rate remains near 55%, which is low by anyone’s standards.

    This is just Lanier’s positive spin to save herself from being fired.

    • SomePeopleOnThisSiteSheesh

      Not a Lanier supporter, but 55% is decent/normal for a big city. NYC was right there in 2013 and 2014. Other big cities, like Miami, are consistently below 50%. The national average for all murders committed everywhere is usually around 66%, and it’s much easier to solve murders (relatively few of them though there are) in small and mid-sized towns than in places like DC.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Is the nationwide number the average for all murders nationwide or the average for all jurisdictions nationwide? (Serious question – I do not know which it is – but those two quantities might differ by a lot).

        • SomePeopleOnThisSiteSheesh

          Total, nationwide: number of cleared murders in the US divided by number of murders in the US. Not a jurisdictional average.

    • anonymous

      Is it though? 55% seems pretty good to me, but I have nothing to compare it to. What are the clearwnce rates for other big cities?

      • Brett M

        It’s below average. Nationwide is 64%. It used to be much higher.

      • Circle Thomas

        The national average for homicide closure is 64.1%, so 55% is below where it should be. Also, there is a Washington Post article from several years back that details how Police Chief Lanier has routinely manipulated stats to make her closure rates seem significantly higher than they actually are.

        • anonymous

          I can’t speak to stat manipulation (though I suspect it happens everywhere), but at noted above, comparing clearance rates to the national averages is misleading because the types of homocides that occur in a city are more difficult to solve. If I were to guess, most homicides in suburbia are probably spouse kills spouse, parent kills child, or dispute escalates to murder. All of these things are easier to solve than a drive-by or a random robbery gone wrong, especially with the anti-snitch culture in urban areas. If we are in line with NYC and other major cities, I think that is a much more useful bearing based on number of homicides and the type of homocides.

  • longtime Me

    In all the hoopla about MPD and the ineffective mayor people keep forgetting about the prosecutors who let most of the perpetrators walk. Sure the guns are off thestreet but those guys /gals will get no papered. So lesson is never learned and they can get another gun from their connect in Maryland or Virginia. I think we need to spend some of our ire on the lack of prosecution.

  • anon data

    We still cannot assume a clearance rate from these numbers, because we cannot assume these numbers are 1:1. There could be 5 arrests related to one homicide or 2 homicides for 1 arrest.

    I would rather see how many cases are actually cleared, then how many cases were prosecuted, then how many prosecuted had a guilty/responsible verdict.

    • Brett M

      Right, but MPD published a 55% earlier this summer. Apparently as of August 14, it dropped to 40%

  • neighbor

    And 102 illegal firearms is probably 0.01% of the amount of illegal firearms wandering around this city.


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