DC's police chief commits to 52 weeks of community walks to restore trust and safety

Crime is spiraling out of control in our nation's capital. 

The latest data from D.C. police reveals crime is up 30%. That's why the agency is now working to find different methods to combat the violence. 

D.C.'s acting police chief Pam Smith and several officers hit the streets Wednesday, starting at I and 13th Streets in Southeast, to hear the community's concerns. 

WASHINGTON, DC- JULY 25: Acting police chief Pamela A. Smith, center, walks along Minnesota Avenue NE alongside Sixth District commander Darnel Robinson and lieutenant Shaquinta Gaines in the Benning neighborhood in Washington, DC on July 25, 2023. (

"I think what I’ve heard from some of the residents and citizens of the District of Columbia is that they would like to see more police officers and I think it’s really important that we reengage in this space," Smith said. 

She told FOX 5 that she's launching a 52-week community safety walk in all city districts. The goal is to build relationships and trust. 


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"It allows us to have this officer-friendly connection, right? What we want to be able to do is to ensure that residents feel comfortable with sharing information with us especially when there’s particular crimes happening in the area," she explained. 

There have been 161 homicides so far this year compared to 126 at the same time last year. Meanwhile, property crime has increased by 29%, which includes 4,397 motor vehicle thefts already in 2023. 

There were about half that amount (2,054) at this time in 2022. 

ANC Commissioner Edward Ryder wants officials to figure out how to prevent the crime from getting even more out of hand. 

"I’m concerned we’re not looking at what the root causes are and how to address those more proactively," Ryder said. 


DC council member calls for National Guard's help as city grapples with escalating violence

If approved, the D.C. National Guard says it "stands ready to provide support to the citizens of the District."

Other people who live in the Capitol Hill area say traffic safety needs to be addressed including lighting on the streets as well as the uptick in shootings and hearing the gunshots. 

"The only thing I have to worry about is a stray bullet," said Margot Finn, a Capitol Hill resident. "Fortunately, I’ve been here since 2008 and nothing’s happened."

There will be another community walk on Thursday at 6 p.m., starting at the corner of 9th and H Streets in Northeast.