Mayor Muriel Bowser announced she is partnering with the D.C. Council to amend the budget adding 170 more officers to the Metropolitan Police Department. (Courtesy Photo)

By Micha Green
D.C. and Digital Editor
mgreen@afro.com

Despite warnings from many activists against the choice to bring more police to streets in order to stop gun violence, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced she worked with the City Council on bringing 170 more police officers to local neighborhoods.

“Today I am submitting a revised Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 and FY 2022 supplemental budget to the Council of the District of Columbia that will provide funding for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to hire 170 additional officers,” Mayor Bowser wrote in a statement released Aug. 2. “In partnering together, we have the opportunity to stabilize MPD’s police force and avoid the stress and burn-out our officers face, while improving MPD’s ability to respond to incidents, close cases and enhance the safety of our residents.”

The Mayor explained that the Council originally approved her proposed $59 million in the budget towards Building Blocks, which was a “whole of government,” approach to address gun violence in the District.

Gun violence prevention is becoming increasingly important as the District continues to lose innocent lives to senseless gun violence, including young Nyiah Courtney, 6, who died in mid-July. However, activists contend more police won’t solve the problem. On July 17, Black Lives Matter D.C. tweeted that MPD’s presence “doesn’t matter when it comes to violent shootings and homicides.”

“Several murders including a mass shooting this week in D.C. on a street has sat on both corners 24 hours a day for at least three years. Tell us again how police keep us safe. Tell us again how more police presence keeps us safe. It doesn’t,” Black Lives Matter tweeted.

Bowser wrote the hiring of more police officers was “essential.”

“This additional hiring is essential because our communities cannot wait another 18 months for new recruits to be hired, fully trained and assigned to patrol. We are already at a critical juncture, with MPD having fewer officers now than they did in September- the lowest staffing level in two decades,” wrote the Mayor.

Bowser explained at the rate MPD was shrinking, it could reduce by approximately 120 officers over the next 14 months and that her proposal in adding 170 new police will help stabilize the force and address the “understaffing challenges.”

Twitter replies have mostly viewed the Mayor’s proposal disfavorably, retweeting the announcement with captions such as, “wrongo.” One person retweeted the Mayor’s announcement saying, “another day of proving is just a bunch of performative b***s***, like clockwork.”

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Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor