When Arlington newcomer Laura Desai considered moving to Lyon Park, safety was top of mind. She's settling in to the area as Arlington police recognize a milestone -- two years without a single murder.
“That's great news,” Desai says of Arlington, a 26 square mile county with more than 200-thousand residents. “I didn't know that and it makes me feel even safer.”
The record is a first for chief Doug Scott's department. He said in his 36 years service, he hasn’t seen back-to-back years without homicides.
“Nationally, we're experiencing a reduction in crime that's significant. I think part of that is law enforcement, part of that is community,” Scott says.
Across the river -- there have been 240 homicides in two years. But 2011 marked the fewest murders in the District in nearly half a century.
So far this year, the murder rate is down 17 percent
Arlington police attribute their positive crime stats to enforcement, good neighbors and a bit of luck. Scott says there have been a number of close calls that could have been homicides.
For example, a man shot in the stomach and knee Friday on north second road is expected to survive.
“If not for the tremendous medical care provided, at the hospital and on the street, we could have easily had more homicides,” Scott says.
The chief says Arlington reports a lot of robberies and sexual assaults. In each of the last two years there have been about 300 violent crimes reported in Arlington.
The man charged in Arlington's last murder, in Lyon Park, is serving a quarter century prison sentence. And since 1970 -- there are 22 cold cases. The most recent unsolved homicide happened in June of 2006.