DC officials, law enforcement warning residents about holiday dangers
WASHINGTON - The D.C. mayor’s office has teamed up with police, as well as fire and EMS to warn residents about the risks and dangers of the holiday season.
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First up, keep an eye out on package deliveries. The number of package thefts has gone up each year since 2015, although it has started to decline this year, according to DC Police Chief Robert Contee.
Nevertheless, you should check in with your neighbors and talk to your delivery drivers if you plan to be gone for long stretches of time.
D.C. Chief of Fire and EMS John Donnelly also warned residents of the increased risk of home cooking fires this time of year.
According to Connelly, there have been 12 fire fatalities in the District this year. All but one of these incidents involved vulnerable populations.
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"Persons over 60 or under the age of 12. And what that means is if you know people who are vulnerable that have problems moving or getting out of their house in the event of a fire, please think about them. Help make sure their house is as fire safe as it can be," Donnelly said.
One quick way to help secure yourself and others is to take just a few seconds to check to make sure that your smoke detectors are working. It only takes a minute and it can save your life, or that of a loved one.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also announced a partnership with federal law enforcement to expand cash rewards for tipsters who can provide information about gun-related crimes as part of an ongoing effort to combat crime in the District.
Not only are payouts going up for those who come forward, but now tipsters are no longer required to testify at a criminal trial about the information they provided. In fact, a conviction will not be a requirement for tipsters to receive the reward.
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"If a resident calls in a tip for any gun that leads to the arrest of an individual, no conviction needed, no coming to testify needed, that arrest that person is eligible for up to 2500 right now," Contee said.
Federal law enforcement is offering an additional $5,000 if the tip relates to ghost guns or conversion guns, which allow a handgun to become fully automatic.