Increasing Cr!me Rates in the District of Columbia Forced Police to Adapt

A new approach in patrol operations is being implemented by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) of the District of Columbia in advance of the summer months and response to an increase in overall cr!me.

On Monday, May 1st, a new approach will be implemented, which departing Chief of Police Robert Contee describes as “a return to the basics.”

On Thursday, Contee and Mayor Muriel Bowser held a press conference to discuss the new initiative. “This isn’t putting someone in the corner to deter a cr!me or officers writing tickets and making arrests,” Contee said.

Increasing Crime Rates in the District of Columbia Forced Police to Adapt

Contee said his officers would take on a “community-based approach” to patrolling while also being assigned to “areas of concern” that are the most affected by cr!me, according to MPD statistics.

“This is about officers getting out of their vehicles and engaging the community by being problem solvers, talking with community members to identify issues, and checking in with businesses and apartment complexes,” Contee said.

Unlike inΒ previous years, when MPD officers only interacted with residents in areas considered “hot spots” over the summer,Β officers will be present in all eight wards to prevent and reduce crime.

According to the most recent statistics from MPD, cr!me in the District is up by 25% compared toΒ last year.

Residents like Ursula King in ward eight,Β worried about recent g*n violence, recall community policing as a time when aΒ cr!me was lower. “It was productive because there was a greater sense of mutual understanding. According to King’s interview with WUSA9, police officers have plenty to offer locals.

Our conversation with King occurred in the Congress Heights area, where eight people, including a 12-year-old girl, had been sh0t a week before.

According to King, “Having them out and about talking to people lets them know that they’re out here,Β that they’re cared about, and helps to establish better communication.”

Volunteers likeΒ Maria Grijalva were serving food to locals only steps away. “I can see how people will be apprehensive, especially with how things have been with the police,” Grijalva added. She thinks the plan might help reduce tensions between police and locals.

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Getting out and around and making personal connections is key. How? “By knowing what the needs are and being able to provide those andΒ help,” she said.

Leader of the activist organization Harriet’s Wildest Dreams Mikki Charles expressed fear to WUSA9’s John Henry that Contee’s resignation from MPD will reduce the efficacy of the most recent approach.

She said, “I think the city has a turnover in leadership positions that affects our public safety. How can we trust the decision-making of Bowser’s administration when key players keep leaving?”

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