Dem. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a letter this week that she is ordering the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to use overtime to deal with the growing violence in America’s capital.
Bowser said D.C. is seeing an “increase in gun violence” and spoke about the events this past weekend, like the killing of a 6-year-old and the shooting near Nationals Park. In her letter to the City’s Chairman Phil Mendelson and Councilman Charles Allen, the Dem. mayor asked for MPD to use “any overtime needed to meet our needs.”
“We have heard the demands from people in our community most affected by gun violence: They demand to see a stronger police presence,” Bowser said. “They do not believe they are safe while the threat from gun violence increases. My request to our officers is to keep our city safe and give justice to the people responsible for terrorizing our families.”
— Muriel Bowser (@MurielBowser) July 19, 2021
There has been an increase in violent crimes in America’s capital this past year. MPD data reveals the amount of homicides went up by 19% in 2020 and has stayed constant so far in 2021, the Washingtonian reports.
The D.C. Council’s Committee on Public Safety removed over $9.5 million from Bowser’s $578 million law enforcement budget for the fiscal year 2021, WUSA said. D.C. also lowered the police dept.’s budget by $15 million last year after BLM protests, as reported by The Washington Post.
Cities across the nation have struggled to deal with the rising violent crime rate after 2020. Many of these cities with record-breaking crime also lowered police budgets, with a huge amount of police depts stress their lack of funding and lowered morale.
The D.C. Police Union this weekend blamed officials for the city’s quickly increasing violent crime. Union chairman Gregg Pemberton stated that local officials have made police reforms without speaking to law enforcement, ending in a wave of violent crimes.
“The city council here in the DC has been removing all the tools — the professional and constitutional tools — that officers can use to maintain safety and keep this type of violence out of the city,” Pemberton said.
Author: Blake Ambrose