Washington, DC – DC Mayor Muriel Bowser is asking the DC Council to reverse a portion of last year’s police defunding and to put $11 million back into the city’s police budget.
“Last year, unfortunately, we saw a $15 million reduction in [the police] budget and because of that reduction we have not been able to keep the hiring pipeline in full effect,” the mayor said during a public safety briefing on Wednesday.
Only 42 new officers have been added to the force so far this fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, The Washington Times reported.
The MPD typically trains over 250 incoming officers annually.
MPD Chief Robert Contee told the public safety committee that the 2020 defunding effort will ultimately result in a loss of over 200 police officers, The Washington Times reported.
“Because of the time necessary to refill the hiring pipeline, plus the intense competition for qualified recruits, the best-case scenario is that we will end FY22 with around 3,460 police officers — the smallest police force our growing city has had in more than two decades,” Chief Contee noted.
Under Bowser’s supplemental budget proposal, the MPD would have enough additional funding to hire and train 20 more officers this fiscal year, and 150 more in the upcoming fiscal year, The Washington Times reported.
“We believe MPD is well-positioned to identify and hire the additional officers and help close the gap between hiring and attrition as soon as possible,” she told the DC Council.
Bowser’s call for additional funding for the MPD comes as violent crime continues to surge in the city, WRC reported.
The near-daily shootings have resulted in at least 111 deaths since the beginning of the year.
“We have called on the council to make sure they fully fund the needs of the Metropolitan Police Department,” Bowser told WTOP.
The DC Council will vote on Bowser’s proposed budget on Tuesday, WRC reported.