By Aria Brent,
Special to the AFRO

On Jan. 21, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser met with advisory neighborhood commissioners to discuss the state of crime in the community. A PowerPoint of the itinerary for the meeting has been released to the public for those who were unable to attend. 

The mayor started off the meeting with a mood check and an intimate question, asking if any of the attendants or someone they know had personally been a victim of a crime. 

Out of all of the attendees, 32 percent voted to being a victim of any crime, while 22 percent voted to having been a victim of gun violence. 

The crime trends in the city from the last two years were then reviewed. According to the data shared there was a decrease in every crime except for robbery and motor vehicle theft. 

There were an additional 36 robberies in 2022 when compared to 2021.  There were also 268 more motor vehicle thefts in 2022, compared to the 3,493 car theft crimes committed in 2021. 

Following this, the report for gunshot victims and illegal guns was shown. In this report it showed that a total of 3,152 illegal guns were recovered in 2022. This is a 26 percent increase when compared to the 2,310 firearms recovered in the previous year. 

Although there were fewer illegal guns recovered in 2021, the number of fatal gun violence crimes was highest that year. The range of years mentioned when discussing this particular crime statistic spanned over four years from 2019 to 2022. 

As the meeting progressed the amount of youth related violence taking place in the city was highlighted.  The year of 2022 held the highest rate of juvenile arrest for both violent crimes, and firearm-related crimes. In addition to this, the overall number of juvenile gunshot wound victims ended up being 105 in 2022, this is nearly 50 percent more than the previous year. 

The conversation then shifted to review the size of the D.C. police department throughout the last 23 years. Notably, 2008 had the highest number of sworn staff members with a total of 4,051. The number of sworn staff decreased by 19 people the following year in 2009 and it continued to do so up until 2013 when there was a slight spike in the number of staff members. In 2013, MPD had 4,010 sworn staff members.

It was then sometimes dedicated to recognizing a few of the most newsworthy and community-oriented moments that have taken place in the D.C. area. 

Prior to the dismissal of the meeting, those attending were asked about who they view as a close partner in helping them respond to or prevent crime in their communities.  The highest percentage of votes were for MPD, meanwhile the federal government received the lowest percentage.

It was then announced that the District of Columbia is spending over $115 million on violence intervention and prevention this year. This is in addition to MPD’s budget that includes a multitude of programs such as community-based violence interventions, pathways program, D.C. school connect and earning for learning. 

Following this the meeting was adjourned. 

The entire presentation from the meeting is available here

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