Washington D.C Mayor Muriel Bowser recently announced that she would be directing the city’s police department to use “as much overtime as necessary” to combat gun violence in the state. D.C had an extremely violent weekend after shots were fired outside of a Major League Baseball stadium and a 6-year-old girl was killed by gunfire.
Mayor Bowser announced a directive to City Council and said that the terrible incidents of this past weekend illustrate how far the District of Columbia needs to go to address the “brazen shooters” in our neighborhood. She directed the Metropolitan Police Department to use any overtime necessary to meet public safety needs and protect residents from communities most impacted by the threat of gun violence.
Bowser adds that this will also involve the “full activation” of the Summer Crime Prevention Initiative, maintaining the focus on getting illegal guns off our streets, and expanding and maintaining increased police deployment in our communities. She said overtime will be used as a “necessary tool” and not as an ideal solution that results in the burnout of officers. She said the better solution is to fully staff our police force.
“My Administration will continue to partner with the Council and our community members to keep our neighborhoods safe and hold accountable those who threaten our families and children,” the directive concludes.
The D.C Council previously pushed back against Mayor Bowser last October when she requested to redirect $43 million in city funds to the Metropolitan Police Department to cover the costs of police overtime expenses during the racial justice protests and riots that began last Spring. It’s also worth noting that the Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety in D.C cut over $9.5 million from the mayor’s proposed $578 million police budget for the 2021 fiscal year. They also slashed $15 million in police funding last year in response to the Black Lives Matter protests.
The calls for fully staffing our police force come after the killing of a 6-year-old girl at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X avenues in Southeast over the weekend. Three people were also shot and wounded outside Nationals Park during a game between the Washington Nations and the San Diego Padres.
While people in two cars exchanged gunfire on South Capitol Street, it sent fans scrambling for safety in the dugouts. One woman who was attending the game suffered a graze wound to the back. Another suffered injuries while getting out of a car after hearing gunshots. Residents have been pushing for stronger forces and continued police presence before more bullets fly on the streets.
No one has been arrested for either of the shootings.
But this time around, the D.C Police Union accused city officials of not allowing law enforcement to do its job. The union, which represents more than 3,600 police officers, detectives, and sergeants in the Metropolitan Police Department, pointed to the recent rise in crime and said it is a tragedy that violent crime permeates everything in D.C. As of Monday, the Department already reported 103 murders. The city only experienced 198 killings compared to last year.
Union chairman Gregg Pemberton said that the local officials enacting police reform without consulting law enforcement first are the ones causing a wave of violent crime.
“The city council here in the District of Columbia has been legislating away all of the tools — the responsible, professional, constitutional tools — that police officers use to keep this kind of violence out of our city,” Pemberton said.
It doesn’t matter how much overtime you pay if you don’t give back the tools you legislated away. Making criminals accountable for their actions is one of the only ways to save the police from using overtime pay, but left-leaning elected officials continue to blame others for the crime. The Dems only want to let criminals out of jail, let criminals across the border, and defund the police. Who are they really trying to protect here?
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