Democratic Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser proposed a $30 million budget with a goal to employ 4,000 police officers to improve 911 response times Monday.
Bowser held a news conference Monday outside of Dunbar High School in Northwest D.C. to explain her budget idea. “It is critical that we close the gap between 3,500 and put ourselves on a path to 4,000 officers,” Bowser said during the press conference, WTOP News reported.
For the short term, the budget has a goal of hiring 347 officers in the next year while also trying to keep the current D.C. officers, as the city loses 300 every year due to attrition, the outlet reported.
“I don’t want people to get lost in this number 4,000,” Bowser said at the press conference. “Focus on 347 — because that’s what this budget proposes that we hire in the upcoming year. Focus on keeping 300, because that’s the number that we might lose if we don’t have some aggressive retention strategies. And that’s how we get to the number of officers that we need.”
This is not the first time that Bowser has tried to hire more police officers. Back in July 2021, Bowser had a budget plan to add 170 Officers to the Metropolitan Police Department.
According to the Executive Office of the Mayor, MPD hires approximately 250 officers each year. Back in 2020 the MPD budget was cut by $15 million, resulting in the department having a “near empty hiring pipeline.”(RELATED: Rep. Cori Bush Claims Colleagues ‘Spew Lies,’ Asserts That Police Are The Real Killers)
Bowser is up for reelection in November and one of her opponents, Robert C. White Jr. said he doesn’t agree with Bowser’s decision to hire more police officers.
“The mayor has put us in an impossible position, because we are plagued with violent crime right now, and police are stretched too thin, and the mayor has not developed a plan,” White said at a candidate forum in March, The Washington Post reported.
“The conversation is frequently reduced to either more police or more crime, and I think that is not fair to residents, nor is it responsible governing,” White continued.
The goal of this proposed budget is to increase presence in neighborhoods, to make and close cases, and to put investments in staff to support the officer wellness program, WJLA reported.