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DC mayor announces 170 police officers to join force amid rising crime

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 7/29/2021 Harriet Alexander For Dailymail.com
Muriel Bowser posing for the camera: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

The mayor of Washington, DC, has announced a plan to add 170 police officers to the city's force amid rising violent crime.

Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, said on Wednesday that she has requested an additional $11million from the City Council to pay for the hiring and training of 20 additional officers in the 2021 financial year, and 150 additional officers in 2022.

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) normally hires 250 officers each year, but last year the DC Council decided to defund the police to the tune of $15million - to the disapproval of the mayor.

She said that, amid rising crime, she told the MPD to make officers work overtime - but said that more needed to be done in the long term. 

'Right now, I have directed MPD to use any overtime necessary to meet our public safety demands,' Bowser said in a statement issued on Wednesday. 

Muriel Bowser smiling for the camera: ( © Provided by Daily Mail ( a person holding a sign: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

'But we know that is not a complete solution or the right long-term solution. 

'We also know we need all of our officers to be fresh, rested, and in the best position to make good decisions – and that requires having a full force to meet all of our community's needs. 

'The department is in a good position to make additional hires and move swiftly to close the gap between attrition and hiring, and that's what this plan is going to help us do.' 

Bowser said that the additional $11million is to be spent on recruitment and training of new officers, plus allowing retired senior police officers to return to the force without penalty to their retirement. 

Bowser has strongly supported Black Lives Matter, but like President Joe Biden has opposed defunding the police.

'I am concerned about the shrinking numbers, and it has been a hallmark of my tenure to get the number of police officers up,' she told Fox News.

'We have to make sure we continue to make the case with members of the council to ensure that there is funding for the number of officers we need.'

a group of police officers riding on the back of a car: ( © Provided by Daily Mail ( graphical user interface, text, application: 185346161 © Provided by Daily Mail 185346161

She said that the problem last year was that her budget was not approved, so they could not hire more officers. 

Bowser said that the communities most affected by spiraling crime in DC were demanding an increased police presence.

The city has this month seen a wave of high-profile incidents.

On July 16 a six-year-old girl was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in the Congress Heights district of the capital.

Nyiah Courtney's parents were both wounded, along with three others. Police said her father is a suspected member of a local drug gang and may have been targeted. A suspect in the shooting, Marktwan Hargraves, 22, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with murder.

a person with graffiti on the wall: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

On July 17, a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the San Diego Padres had to be suspended after a shooting just outside the stadium, which saw one bystander caught in the crossfire and injured.

And on July 22, two men opened fire on diners outside a restaurant in the bustling Logan Circle district, wounding two.

Across the District, homicides reached a 16-year high in 2020, and are staying apace this year.

a group of people in uniform: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

There were 198 shootings in 2020 - an increase of 19 per cent on the previous year. This year is on track to surpass that, with homicides up four per cent, year on year. 

'This is something that we've been warning about for years,' said Robert Contee, DC Police Chief, when asked about the lack of resources he has to fight crime. 

'We don't really have the ability to hire officers right now. 

'We have a defined amount of resources to deal with a very large city that continues to grow.' 

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