WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — As crime in the District continues to rise, D.C. councilmembers are looking to get input from the community on crime prevention efforts.
Councilmember Brooke Pinto held the first of several public safety walks on Friday in Ward 1.
Access to illegal guns was discussed as police said more people are using them during carjackings and robberies.
Community leaders and neighbors walked from 7th Street to 14th and U Streets Northwest.
A lot of the discussion centered around crime that happens late at night.
Pinto, chair of the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, talked directly with neighbors affected by the crime.
“I hope we’re at an inflection point where it’s going to start to get better,” said resident Jeremy Haldeman. “I think everybody across the city is feeling that the increase in crime, both from petty crime to serious crime as well.”
There’s been a 40% increase in violent crime compared to last year, according to D.C. crime statistics.
The public safety walk in Ward 1 comes after Pinto introduced her “Secure DC” plan several weeks ago aiming to cut down on crime.
“Want to make sure that we’re inviting the public, inviting stakeholders, inviting residents and my colleagues to participate, and how to make sure that this legislation is as effective and strong as possible,” Pinto said.
As Pinto walked through the U Street corridor, police outlined ways they’re trying to cut down on robberies and using canine officers alongside streets to sniff out guns in cars, hoping to slow the statistic of more than 200 homicides this year.
“A lot of us are working really hard to turn that around with things like getting the crime lab re-accredited, making sure we have police deployed in the right places across the city,” said Ward 2 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau.
Pinto said her package of bills focuses on preventing crime, setting up training programs, giving more resources for diversion programs and holding violent offenders accountable.
There will be public safety walks in all eight wards. You can RSVP here.