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DC council gives mayor under half of $11M requested for more police, amid shortage, crime increase

D.C. police data shows violent crime increases by 19% in 2020, compared to 2019 and is now slightly below last year’s numbers. 

Updated: August 5, 2021 - 9:12am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The District of Columbia's City Council has unanimously decided to give Democrat Mayor Muriel Bowser less than half of the $11 million she requested for more city police officers – amid an increase in violent crime and shortage of officers.

The Democrat-controlled council took the vote Tuesday and delivered Bowser what it called a "compromise" package – authorizing $5 million for the Metropolitan Police Department to hire more officers and $6 million toward other wrap-around services, according to fox5dc.com.

Bowser requested the money for 170 new officers, in addition to the 135 officers she had previously requested. 

"Residents want safety, not politics,” the council said in a statement. “Gun violence is rising because it’s contagious like a disease; a police-only response would have been a band aid that ignores the causes, when what the District needs is a vaccine." 

Bowser told reporters: "If we’re not careful, we’re going to break the department. And so we need what we need. We need to hire officers as soon as we can and we need the council to understand that."

D.C. police data shows violent crime increases by 19% in 2020, compared to 2019 and is now slightly below last year’s numbers. The city also has 114 homicide so far this year, compared to 109 at this time last year. 

The D.C. Police Union says MPD has lost over 400 officers since last summer either through retirement or resignation. The union also says the department is at record lows with below 3,500 members on the force.

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