By Ashleigh Fields,
AFRO Assistant Editor,
The AFRO sends congratulations to Pamela A. Smith for being selected as the permanent Police Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department. Smith is the first Black female police chief in the organization’s 162 year history. She was unanimously confirmed by the DC Council on Nov. 7.
“Our community understands the urgency to both drive down crime and build up MPD. Chief Smith hit the ground running in July, sharing her story and vision, making sure she was accessible to residents and businesses and prioritizing common-sense solutions to long-standing challenges,” Mayor Muriel Bowser released in a statement. “We have work to do, and I am proud to have Chief Smith at the helm of MPD as we continue engaging and working with community stakeholders and our partners on the Council and in the criminal justice system.”
The District’s violent crime rate has significantly increased from this time last year. To date there have been 235 homicides, a 33 percent spike since this time last year. Violent crime is up by 40 percent and many are concerned about MPD’s dwindling police force.
However, Chief Smith has made it a point to be an active member of the community. At the meeting on Nov. 7, various council members spoke in favor of her frequent safety walks, consistent meeting with officials from different D.C. agencies and her willingness to work with locally elected leaders known as Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners.
Councilmember Brooke Pinto shared a post on X, formerly known as Twitter to commemorate the notable achievement, “Congratulations, Chief! Look forward to a continued partnership to drive down crime.”