WASHINGTON - D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Police Acting Chief Pamela Smith and other city leaders announced three new focuses on Thursday to combat crime in the District amidst a rise in violent crime.
Earlier this month, Ward 8 councilmember Trayon White called the District a "warzone" and called on the mayor to request the National Guard to help assist D.C. Police.
Total violent crime across the city is up 37% compared to this time last year, with homicides up 25%.
Bowser and other officials hope three new initiatives will help:
Juvenile Curfew Enforcement Pilot
Bowser announced a "Juvenile Curfew Enforcement Pilot," which will focus on seven areas around D.C. to enforce curfews for anyone under 17 years old. Curfew in D.C. is from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. during the week; on weekends, curfew begins at midnight. Youth found past curfew will be brought to the Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services to be connected with their families and for "rehabilitative services and support."
"Our goal is to make sure they're safe and our community is safe," said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Lindsey Appiah.
Expansion of CCTV
50 CCTV cameras will be added throughout the city – with more to come over the next two years, according to Bowser.
"We know that good video evidence is key to closing cases and increasing accountability," said Bowser in a tweet.
Bowser has committed to doubling the number of cameras across D.C. in the next two years.
"This is in response to what the community has asked for and will help us to ensure that we have good video in some of the areas that are most impacted by high crime," said Smith.
MPD Officer Referral Program
Bowser announced additional resources will be going to the MPD recruitment team, including increasing referral bonuses. MPD employees are eligible for bonuses from $2,000-$5,000 for referring police officers and new cadets.
Smith also addressed an increase in the number of weapons recovered on D.C. streets.
"The number of guns that we've recovered off the streets is a significant number [compared with] years past, and I think that's where the increase in homicides is coming from and we've been working with the U.S. Attorney's office in order to impact, if you will, some of these guns coming into the District," said Smith.