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Richmond just had a two-month stretch with one homicide reported each month

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Posted at 11:18 AM, Feb 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-03 06:43:28-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Ahead of the mayor’s press conference where he is expected to announce a new police chief is news that for the past two months only one homicide has been reported each month, and the annual homicide rate continues its downward trend — though there were five more homicides in 2014 compared to 2013.

The victim from the Eastview drive-by shooting on Tuesday, Jan. 27 died from his injuries on Saturday, Richmond Police said.  Walter M. Robinson III, age 23, of the 1900 block of Raven Street is the city’s first homicide victim.

To note, one-homicide months  aren’t very common. The last time there was a two-month stretch that included just one homicide per month was in spring 2011, and that appears to be the only other time since at least 1992, according to these online numbers.

The last time there was a month without a murder was in June 2010. There have only been seven months in Richmond without any homicides, since at least 1980, according to online data by CHPN.

The website used a graph to show violent crime throughout the decades. The image below shows that the homicide rate peaked in 1994, when it reached an all-time high of 160 homicides, and also shows homicides have been on a consistent steady decline since 2004.

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In the mayor’s recent State of the City address, Jones said the city has the lowest crime rate he’s seen since he moved here, and he credited outgoing Police Chief Ray Tarasovic.

The homicide rate began to decline during former Chief Rodney Monroe’s term, appointed in 2005, and he was the chief that divided the city into 12 specific policing sectors. Policing under former Chief Bryan Norwood, appointed in 2008, kept the homicide rate declining in Richmond. Chief Tarasovic was appointed in 2013.

There were 42 homicides in 2014, and 37 in 2013. Since 2008, there has been an average of 39 homicides annually.