MayorBowser

Muriel Bowser takes the oath of office Jan. 2, 2015 while family members watch. (Photo by Rob Roberts)

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) released her first annual Accountability Report Jan. 11. The “Bowser Administration Transition Plan Accountability Report Year One Update,” addresses nine major topics that effect D.C., including arts, education, transportation, good government and full democracy, health and wellness, environment, jobs and economic development, and public safety.

“When I was elected, I pledged to put District residents first and to help our great city reach its full potential,” Bowser said. “I am proud of our first year in office. We laid the groundwork and positioned the District for future growth and prosperity.”

In the public safety, Bowser recruited and hired Fire and Emergency Medical Services chief Gregory Dean and Dr. Jenifer Smith as director of the Department of Forensic Sciences, which covers the crime lab. Cathy L. Lanier will continue as chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

The report addresses public safety by area, priority, agency, status 2015, and update 2015, identifying 21 priorities, which range from ensuring all District residents have full emergency plans, investment in programs such as the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), promoting community engagement with the MPD and having bi-annual town hall meetings with District residents in all wards. Other priorities include protecting the youth, ensuring the safety and well-being of domestic and sexual abuse victims, creating pathways for returning citizens, and enforcing community policing.

“We are also very focused on addressing what has become a challenge for us in recent months and that is the spike in violent crime that major cities around our country have experienced as well,” Bowser said.

According to the MPD website, there were 162 homicides in 2015, up 54 percent from 2014 with 105. Sex abuse cases were down 8 percent, with 296 in 2015 and 321 in 2014. Robberies rose by 5 percent with 3,447 in 2015, and 3,296 in 2014. Violent crime rose by 2 percent from 6,121 in 2014 to 6,329 in 2015.

Sixteen public safety priorities have been launched, one reconsidered, four are ready to be launched, and three are awaiting legislative action, according to the report. All of the priorities encompass Bowser’s Safer Stronger DC plan.