MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Thursday night Councilmember Kristin Mink held a listening session for elected officials and police to hear the White Oak community’s public safety concerns.
While there hasn’t been a general increase in the number of incidents in White Oak, firearm-related violence increased by 41 percent in 2021 and 20 percent in 2022. Also, carjackings have increased.
“Wherever there is crime, wherever there is violence, I think it’s necessary to hold a space for people to talk about their trauma,” said Mady Nadje Executive Director of Everyday Canvassing.
Councilmember Mink hosted the listening session she says following the murder of a Shell Station clerk and a pregnant woman at The Enclave apartments. She says after these incidents, her office began planning this meeting and knocking on doors.
“A lot of it was reacting to crime and not preventing crime… that was disappointing to me,” said Mark Pharoh who lives in the area.
Based on data from Montgomery County Police a disproportionate number of crimes occur in District 5 and black and brown communities. Community members also are asking for better interactions with police.
“It should feel like they are also here to support you,” said Emmanuel Walker who lives at The Enclave. “It’s protect and serve, I want to see more serving.”
Another listening session will be held about economic development in February.