WASHINGTON - D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser returned from a trip to Dubai for the United Nations Climate Conference last week as crime in the District continues to be a top issue.
D.C. leaders took up Bowser's Addressing Crime Trends bill last week while the mayor was overseas. The bill, also known as the ACT Now Bill, aimed at addressing recent crime trends and giving law enforcement more tools to hold criminals accountable while working to keep neighborhoods safe.
Bowser defended her trip to Dubai to FOX 5, saying her team was able to keep her updated on the bill and other happenings in D.C. while she was discussing climate change as a member of the United State's Conference of Mayors bi-partisan delegation.
And Bowser says she believes residents care about what's in the crime bill – not where she was when the council was working on it.
"You know what my job was in that respect, was to put a bill before the Council that in my opinion closes gaps in very necessary ways and lets the police do their jobs," said Bowser. "Whether it is addressing what I consider emerging trends like ski masks and retail thefts and open air drug dealing, that's what residents of the District care about and I’m glad dozens of them came out to tell the council that the time to act is now."
While some residents FOX 5 DC spoke to said Bowser has a number of responsibilities that include crime AND climate change, others told us they thought Bowser should be here, focused on crime.
"I would think she should be here. I would think she'd be here because the crime is terrible in D.C.," said one resident.
Councilmember Robert White spoke out on the issue of crime as well, saying while "optics do matter," there's a bigger picture at play.
"At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how many laws we have passed, if 911 is broken, forensic sciences isn't collecting evidence so people can be prosecuted and if prosecutors aren’t prosecuting the majority of people arrested," said White. "This is a leadership issue. The city is in a crisis, it is in a crime crisis. People are afraid, it seems like crime is out of control and that the city and the Mayor don't have a handle on it."
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