Mayor Bowser’s Statement on Public Safety
As Mayor, my top priority is your safety. While crime as a whole remains flat, the District of Columbia has experienced a spike in violent crime in 2015, similar to what is happening in cities across the country – from Los Angeles to Milwaukee to New York. I want you to know that my Administration is working around the clock to prevent crime, respond swiftly when it happens, and hold criminals accountable.
Over the past several weeks, I have been meeting with my public safety team on a frequent basis, talking to community leaders, and working with our federal public safety partners to address violent crime in the District. Meanwhile, Police Chief Lanier continues to keep MPD officers on the forefront of effective policing. Just last week, the Chief hosted a national summit with big city police chiefs to identify trends and share best practices.
We are using proven methods and trying new ones to tackle crime. MPD has increased its street presence through a combination of foot, bike, and Segway patrols. We are beefing up our patrols in neighborhoods that have experienced higher levels of crime. And we are using every tool at our disposal to prevent the violence that occurs from synthetic drugs – including our new law that punishes bad acting businesses that sell these extremely harmful and dangerous substances.
We are also working hard to close cases: we will find and arrest individuals that commit violent crime. We work closely with Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent Cohen and our federal partners to ensure that criminals are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and that their sentences reflect the harm they cause to our communities.
Most importantly, we are listening to the residents of DC. Remember, during an emergency, you should call 911. And if you have information about a crime, we urge you to send an anonymous message to MPD’s text tip line (50411). If you see something, please say something.
As we fight crime, we continue to build stronger ties between the police force and District residents. Our officers regularly attend ANC and community meetings, and they conduct frequent neighborhood walkthroughs. Residents can sign up for MPD’s neighborhood listserv groups HERE.
Together, we are stronger. We need your continued involvement and support to maintain the strength and vibrancy of our community. To find ways to get involved, please reach out to your ward representative at my Office of Community Relations and Services by clicking HERE.
With innovative policing, a committed public safety team and your help, we will keep DC on the right path toward safety and security.