Police Priorities: DC Police Chief Peter Newsham talks Twitter trouble, new crime tracking tools

D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham checks in with FOX 5 to talk about the District's top issues.


A new tool has been unveiled by D.C. police allowing citizens greater access to crime data. Crime Cards allow users to filter information and search particular crimes over a specific period of time on heat maps. Find the Crime Cards online.


Newsham, a self-described novice at using Twitter, said he blocked a user who was sending him "the types of tweets I'm sure that you've received." The blocked user then took the story to the Washington Post.

After D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser stepped in, Newsham unblocked the user. "When you really think about it, people should have access to their chief of police," he said adding that he didn't give the matter of blocking a user much thought when he originally did it. "I'm not too old to learn and I've turned that around," he said.


"I think the number one contributor to violence in our city is the illegal firearms," Newsham said while discussing some of the District's recent homicide cases. Assault weapons, he said, "were designed to kill humans in a warfare situation."

He said that recent mass shootings show that assault weapons do not belong in the community. "We have them banned here in the District. but if they're available in local states people can get them in local states and bring them into the District. I just think it makes us less safe." He cites D.C.'s gun laws as one of the reasons violent crime numbers are down.


"Our community has been really great," Newsham said when talking about looking ahead. "My message to the community is keep doing what you're doing. Keep working with us and I think we'll continue to see crime go down in our city."