WASHINGTON, DC – De-fund. Re-fund. All it took was blood-curdling crime statistics to awaken the D.C. Council from its woke fairytale and admit the city needs police. A lot of police.
Ever since the council slashed $15 million from the Metropolitan Police Department’s budget in July 2020, Mayor Muriel Bowser has presided over a lawlessness that is turning the nation’s capital into a criminal paradise.
🗺 101 N Street, NW, Washington, DC
⏱ 11:00 AM
📆 Today pic.twitter.com/mlwh0VbDCG
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) April 4, 2022
But on April 4, Bowser all but admitted that pandering to the Black Lives Matter movement did nothing to improve the safety of the district’s residents, nor improve their quality of life in any way.
During a press conference, Bowser and MPD Chief Robert J. Contee III outlined a $30 million public safety initiative for the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget that will create safer streets for residents and visitors and centers around the hiring of 347 police officers. The initiative will see the hiring of 258 new recruits, 42 graduates of the MPD Cadet Corps program and the rehiring of 47 retired officers, bringing the force to a total of 4,000 sworn officers, WJLA.com reported.
The budget supports additional incentives, including:
- Hiring bonuses for new recruits and for converting cadets who join MPD in fiscal year 2023.
- Temporary housing stipends for new recruits living outside of the District.
- Expansion of the Vehicle Take-Home Program for MPD officers who are D.C. residents.
- Tuition reimbursement grants within the Police Officer Retention Program, which provides a one-time incentive for officers at the time of their careers that they are most likely to leave through resignation or retirement. The enhancement also funds opportunities for members without existing student debt to continue their advanced education.
- Investments in staff to support the officer-wellness program and in leadership-development efforts.
- MPD leadership training to create a “Legion of Leaders” within MPD that would build an academy to enhance opportunities for MPD ranking members to participate in external training initiatives, including law enforcement-specific programs as well as non-law enforcement management programs.
- Enhancements for the expanded CCTV network and video evidence management.
Bowser, who is up for reelection this year, said a fully staffed and funded force will improve response times, increase presence in neighborhoods and make and close cases. The mayor stated:
“This budget does what D.C. residents all over our city are asking me to do – get our Metropolitan Police Department fully staffed and resourced with the officers they need to keep our community safe.
“As we get back to 4,000 officers, we’re focused on hiring DC residents to be DC police and we’re also focused on hiring more female officers. And our cadet program helps us do both. Combined with our investments in non-police prevention and intervention efforts, and combined with our investments in recreation opportunities for young people, this investment in MPD is going to help us build a safer, stronger DC.”
As Mayor, Bowser applauded the nationwide BLM riots that left cities in flames, entire blocks looted and police and private citizens attacked and killed.
In June 2020, Bowser allowed “Black Lives Matter” to be painted in enormous yellow letters on the street that leads to the White House, where protesters had been demonstrating following George Floyd’s in-custody death in Minneapolis. Bowser said at the time:
“There are people who are craving to be heard and to be seen, and to have their humanity recognized, and we had the opportunity to send that message loud and clear on a very important street in our city. And it is that message, and that message is to the American people, that Black Lives Matter black humanity matters, and we as a city raise that up as part of our values as a city.”
Bowser continued to make good on her promise to defund the police department by cutting its 2022 budget by a further 6 percent.
“We fund the police at the level that we need it funded. And my [city] council has my current budget proposal in front of them to give every neighborhood in Washington, D.C., the police support that they need. And so my budget doesn’t fund it a penny more than we need and certainly not a penny less.”
This is a performative distraction from real policy changes. Bowser has consistently been on the wrong side of BLMDC history. This is to appease white liberals while ignoring our demands. Black Lives Matter means defund the police. @emilymbadger say it with us https://t.co/w0ekwSG1ip
— Black Lives Matter DC (@DMVBlackLives) June 5, 2020
A surge in violent crime followed the budget cuts. According to the police department, violent crime in total rose 3% last year from the year before, from 4,004 incidents in 2020 to 4,117 incidents in 2021.
Homicide rose 14%, from 198 to 226. Assault with a deadly weapon was up 3%, from 1,631 to 1,675. Robbery was up 2%, from 1,998 to 2,040. Sex abuse ticked down 1%, from 177 to 176 in the time period.
Total property crime rose 3%, from 23,666 to 24,296. Vehicle theft was up 8%, from 3,262 to 3,515. Theft from vehicle rose 5%, from 8,285 to 8,690.
Theft (other) fell less than 1% from 10,928 to 10,915. Burglary fell 1 % from 1,178 to 1,172. Arson saw the biggest drop, down 69% from 13 incidents to 4 incidents.
Chief Contee noted at the press conference:
“Mayor Bowser’s budget makes critical investments to ensure the Metropolitan Police Department can return to a stable staffing position that supports the police work that our residents and communities want. However, policing is only one part of the citywide public safety plan, and her proposed budget continues important investments in violence prevention programs and alternatives to police responses.”
The investments in MPD are in addition to $80 million in violence prevention and intervention initiatives included in the total budget. These efforts build on a $59 million investment for fiscal year 2022 that includes services to assist 250 residents who have been identified as being at a high risk for gun violence.
Police-bashing, BLM-backing D.C. mayor suddenly says ‘defunding the police’ is a bad idea after latest shooting
May 21, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC – The mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser, criticized the “defund the police” efforts being taken by the D.C. Council on May 19th following a shooting that occurred in the Shaw neighborhood the evening prior that has left a mother and son in critical condition.
.@MayorBowser criticized “defund the police” efforts in the D.C. Council, saying more officers are needed and the city has not been able to hire more because of Council budget cuts for police. https://t.co/riwudocbYR
— 7News DC (@7NewsDC) May 19, 2021
On May 18th slightly before 7:00 p.m., a male subject had parked a rental scooter in the middle of the sidewalk along the 1500 block of 10th Street NW in the Shaw neighborhood.
The neighborhood is considered to be one of the more upper-class areas, with the likes of active construction going on around the block for new homes alongside side some pricey properties.
For reasons unknown, this parked scooter had caused some sort of an altercation between the male subject and at least one other adult that was among a group of other adults that had their children outside as well.
Witnesses say that during this altercation, the male subject pulled out a gun and started shooting – striking one woman and her four-year-old son.
No arrests have been made yet in the case, with officials saying that the suspect is a black male that was wearing a ski-mask mask during the shooting and fled the area on foot following the gunfire.
D.C. police chief says argument over where scooter was parked at 10th and P streets NW led to a man shooting at a family, striking woman and child, critically injuring both. Chief said man shot an "innocent family." Says: "The Metropolitan Police Department is coming for you."
— Peter Hermann (@phscoop) May 19, 2021
One of the neighbors, retired U.S. Navy Admiral Roger Gilberton, has stated that he’d heard the gunfire go off and witnessed a group of people running in fear following the shooting:
“We heard about half a dozen shots and then just a few seconds after that there were five or six people running down P Street.”
Authorities say that at least four gunshots were recorded during the incident.
The two gunshot victims, who have not been identified by officials, were last reported as being in critical condition.
Following an event on May 19th, Mayor Bowser informed reporters inquiring about the investigation that police are “doing everything they can to catch the shooter, and to stop things like this from happening in the future by getting the guns out of the hands of people who have shown they are willing to use them.”
However, Mayor Bowser mentioned that the efforts being taken by the D.C. Council to “defund the police” is not helping the matter, pointing to how budget cuts enacted by the Council have impacted the police department’s ability to onboard much-needed officers.
Back in June of 2020, when calls to defund police departments were likely at their highest point, the D.C. Council voted to cut $15 million from the Metropolitan Police Department.
Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee did convey that the police are actively searching for the at-large suspect:
“The Metropolitan Police is coming for him, he should be ashamed of himself for what he did to this family tonight.
“And he has to be held accountable for his actions. The community demands it, I demand it, he has to be held accountable for his actions, that’s unacceptable.”
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