DC mayor seeks $11M for police recruitment – after defunding the police by $15 million for the 2021 fiscal year

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WASHINGTON, DC – After Washington, DC defunded police by $15 million for the 2021 fiscal year, the DC mayor is reportedly calling on the DC Council to approve $11 million in additional funds for police in order to attain new recruits.

Mayor Muriel Bowser is asking that the DC Council and the federal government step up to help address issues that the mitigate the violent crime in the district, seeking additional funding for police and asking the federal government to fully reopen the courts so as to clear case backlogs and start prosecuting alleged offenders.

According to reports, shooting incidents have transpired on a near-daily basis in DC, and the district has also amassed 111 homicides as of July 28th in 2021.

Mayor Bowser reportedly authorized any overtime Metropolitan Police Department officers may need but says that overtime with the MPD isn’t going to solve the problems associated with violent crime. The mayor is seeking $11 million to have the MPD onboard 170 new officers over the next two fiscal years.

To put matters into perspective, the MPD usually onboards roughly 250 new officers per year. Yet only 42 new officers have been brought to the department since the onset of 2021. The requested funding would ideally result in hiring and training at least 20 additional officers in 2021 and then 150 additional officers the following year.

The proposal will be going before the DC Council on August 3rd for a vote.

As for the issues related to the courts not being fully open, DC is unique in that the federal government is in charge of prosecutions and local courts in the district. Mayor Bowser and MPD Chief Robert Contee both agree that it’s time for the courts to fully reopen in the district.

Reportedly, there are over 10,000 cases caught in the courts’ backlog, as well as 12 current vacancies within the DC Superior Court. Furthermore, the mayor and police chief claim that there are over 2,000 cases awaiting charges from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Mayor Bowser said that the current situation is resulting in “delayed” justice:

“No matter how you look at it, the system is not working at full capacity, and that means justice is delayed.”

A statement released from the U.S. Attorney’s Office came off as somewhat defensive regarding the grievances cited by the mayor and MPD chief, saying the U.S. Attorney’s Office have “continued to charge cases” and they’ve “been tirelessly working” while navigating the pandemic:

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office has continued to charge cases during the pandemic. Prosecutors in the Office have been tirelessly working on cases, making court appearances virtually and in person, meeting with witnesses, and working with grand juries that are now meeting five days a week. We are working closely with the courts to increase the number of empaneled juries in accordance with CDC guidelines.”

MPD Chief Contee noted that while an increased police force and expedited prosecutions will greatly help in combatting violent crime in the district, he also called for the greater community to do their part to deter and report crime where they see it occur:

“All those things working together, I think, is what gets us to a safer community.”

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LET Unity

Earlier in July, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report where MPD Chief Contee shared his frustration over how the courts have been running during the era of the pandemic, which has resulted in criminals not answering for offenses committed over the past year. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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WASHINGTON, DC – D.C.’s top cop is speaking out against the liberal agenda of “coddling” criminals that is bringing violence into the streets and handcuffing his officers.

Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee told reporters on Friday, July 23rd, he is “mad as hell” about the city’s broken justice system.

The chief spoke to the press from the scene of Thursday’s shooting at popular hangout Logan Circle, which wounded two men and sent patrons and pedestrians scrambling for cover:

“I’m going to give it to you straight … The justice system that we have right now, it is not functioning the way that it should. The courts are not open. That is a fact. Barely open.

“So, cases from last year that happened during COVID of violent criminals that have not been disposed of, where do you think those individuals are? They’re in the community.”

The chief said that throughout 2020, criminals have not had to answer for their crimes and have been left to roam the streets. He added that liberal calls to defund the police and vilification of officers has made the situation much worse.

In 2020, and continued into 2021, courts across the nation cut operations to a minimum because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and several blue states and localities passed laws allowing the early release of prisoners.

He predicted that the shooters involved in Thursday’s shooting will be people previously known to police:

“The real issue is, we have a vicious cycle of bad actors who do things, no accountability, and they end up back in the community.

“I guarantee you, when we lock up whoever did this, they will be no stranger to us.”

Chief Contee said “enough is enough,” suggesting most people are not aware of how easily criminals are being released back into the streets:

“But I’m gonna (sic) tell you the truth. The real issue is we have a vicious cycle of bad actors who do things, no accountability, and they end up back in (the) community.

“But you cannot coddle violent criminals. You cannot.”

Democrats and liberal activists have called for reducing police funding and diverting those funds to other services for criminals, including job support, mental health services, housing, and more. Chief Contee argues that some people simply need to be removed from the streets and put in jail:

“They might not want a job. They might not. They might not need services.

“What they may require is to be off of our streets because they’re making it unsafe for us. And if that’s what it requires, then that’s what it requires. And we have to own it. We have to own it. Because if not, we see more of this.”

Following his outspoken words, things might become uncomfortable in City Hall when the Chief meets Mayor Muriel Bowser and the liberal City Council.

Although Mayor Bowser initially called for an increase to police funding in 2021, the Council revised the budget plan by cutting $32 million from the MPD. $9.6 million was redirected to “violence interruption.”

Bowser’s budget for 2022, which takes effect in October, cuts the MPD budget by nearly 6 percent while increasing the budget for the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement by a whopping 172 percent.

If he does not find support in City Hall, the chief can count on support from his own officer’s Police Benevolent Association. The union praised Chief Contee’s words, and agreed that violence will only stop when criminals are held accountable:

“Wow. Chief Robert Contee on a roll, echoing the thoughts of cops across this country. We won’t turn the tide of violence until we start holding criminals accountable again.”

Concluding his remarks, the chief said he hopes people get angry about the current state of the city’s justice system and politics:

“I’m mad as hell about this, and I hope ya’ll (sic) are too.

“I like coming to 14th Street … I don’t want to be afraid for my wife to go there because some knucklehead in the community decided to pull out a gun and fire it at 8:20 in the evening. That is unacceptable.”

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Back in May, we at Law Enforcement Today shared another report detailing how DC Mayor Bowser criticized efforts to defund the police following a shooting that occurred in the district. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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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.

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.  

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.”

This is an ongoing investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case.

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