Crime: City and Its Council Need to Get Real
By August 16, 2023 0 681•
On Aug. 7, Ward 8 Council member Trayon White made headlines as he suggested the use of the D.C. National Guard to combat the city’s unrelenting lawlessness and violence.
“The crime is out of control and getting worse by the day,” White said. “We must declare an emergency regarding the crime and violence in our neighborhoods and act urgently. It may be time to call on the National Guard to protect the children and innocent people losing their lives to this senselessness. I am tired of burying our children. We are too comfortable with the state of our city. We must take action to gain control and protect our residents. Law enforcement is only one part of how we combat public safety issues. It will take all of us to heal our community.”
While we share White’s desperation about lives lost, his heartfelt appeal is actually calling for more officers of the Metropolitan Police Department to be hired and to be on street. That’s right, a member of the District Council wants more MPD fighting crime.
That’s the same Council which moved quickly in 2020 to reform body-camera use, police discipline and much more — even neck holds that MPD hadn’t allowed even then. At the time, Chief Peter Newsham said he and his officers felt “abandoned” by the Council, at least in part.
Three years ago, Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen said the District needs “to completely and radically rethink the way in which we deliver public safety.” Really? What does that actually mean? How’s that working out for the city?
While we now have an emergency crime bill in effect that gives MPD more options to fight crime, D.C. urgently needs to increase its current force of about 3,300 MPD officers to at least 4,000, a number regarded by experts as necessary.
Have we forgotten that D.C. has one of best police departments in America? Is it merely a coincidence that D.C. has had four police chiefs since 2020?
There is more to do in the remainder of 2023. We look forward to Ward 2 Council member Brooke Pinto’s bills on crime and applaud her recent anti-crime initiatives.
And, yes, we know there is so much more going on here in terms of society and human nature. But let’s start by making common sense the center of attention.
Let’s continue this conversation. The Georgetowner welcomes your comments on this vital issue. Please email Editorial@Georgetowner.com.