US

DC Police Are Struggling To Keep Officers On The Streets

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Font Size:

There is a severe shortage of officers on the streets in Washington, D.C., at a time when the city is experiencing a large spike in crime, leaving a number of police officers worried.

At a D.C. Council hearing in 2011, Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said that if the city police roster ever fell below 3,800, “we’re going to have trouble.”

Those words turned out to be prophetic, as the latest number of sworn officers at MPD shows just 3,797 on the force at a time when the city’s murder rate is more than 50 percent higher than it was one year ago.

According to the D.C. Police Union, though, that number is hugely inflated. Gregg Pemberton, a spokesman for the union, told The Daily Caller News Foundation the number is actually closer to 3,000 after removing officers on leave, recruits still in the academy, and the roughly 200 officers fulfilling administrative duties.

“I think every citizen of this city should be alarmed about the catastrophe unfolding before us,” Pemberton said. “It’s reprehensible that our leaders are doing nothing to address it.”

So far this year, the city has seen 136 murders– a 51 percent hike over the same time last year.

In addition to the rise in murders, violent crime in the neighborhood that surrounds Capitol Hill has gotten so bad that some residents are scared to leave their houses.

In the past 60 days, violent crime in the first police district, which includes Capitol Hill, is up more than 75 percent.

On one day in October, muggers near the U.S. Capitol robbed five different people within 30 minutes.

District Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled new plans to fight the rise in violent crime earlier this summer, which will put more officers on the streets in D.C.’s “hardest hit areas,” create an incentive program asking businesses and homeowners to install security cameras, and, strangely, make it harder for people to be charged with assault on a police officer.

Those plans will most likely die before being voted on by the council after several council members took issue with one provision that would allow law enforcement officials to search the homes of violent ex-offenders without a warrant.

A spokesman for the MPD refused to comment on the rise in crime and the falling number of police.

Follow Josh on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.