Vanilla City Needs a Snickers. From [WashPost] The D.C. police department now has more than 3,800 officers, an increase from the previous year when the size of the force fell below that mark for the first time in a decade, prompting concern from city leaders over the thinning ranks.
Racist suspect Police Chief Peter Newsham [in photo] told Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and council members Tuesday that fewer officers are leaving each month, an indication that the force is stabilizing after years of failing to keep pace with attrition.
“I feel comfortable with the size of the force right now,” Newsham said during the breakfast meeting at the John A. Wilson Building, where he outlined several incentive programs designed to attract and keep officers.
As of Oct. 1, the start of fiscal 2018, the police force had 3,821 sworn members, an increase of 84 from the previous year. That number includes 71 hires of “senior sergeants” and “senior detectives” — retired officers who have been allowed to return under an emergency measure that ends next year. The added time does not affect their pension benefits.
Sgt. Matthew Mahl, chairman of the D.C. police labor union, said the District is not yet in the clear.
“I think we’re still desperately short,” Mahl said, adding that he thinks the department needs an additional 100 to 200 officers. “What’s required of us is more than the manpower we have. I think patrol officers and detectives are the hardest hit. I think they operate on a bare minimum on a daily basis.” [MORE]
Graphs above from the Brennan Center's Report, Crime in 2017: A Preliminary Analysis [MORE]
Preliminary analysis of crime data from the nation’s 30 largest cities released by the Brennan Center for Justice on Wednesday suggests that crime is not on the rise at all. In fact, according to the center’s overview of crime and murder data, 2017 is on pace to have the second-lowest violent crime rate of any year since 1990.
From the report:
- The overall crime rate is projected to drop by 1.8 percent to the second-lowest point since 1990.
- The violent crime rate is projected to fall by 0.6 percent, also to the second-lowest point in over 25 years. (The lowest rate was in 2014.) “This result,” the report’s authors write, “is driven primarily by stabilization in Chicago and declines in Washington, D.C., two large cities that experienced increases in violence in recent years.”
- The murder rate is projected to be down 2.5 percent, on-par with the rate in 2009
In D.C., the overall crime rate is down 4 percent, with violent crime dropping by 10 percent from 2015 and a 17 percent year-to-year decrease in homicides. [MORE] Explore the center’s data for each of the country’s largest cities. [MORE]