WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — In her first meeting with the community in the new year, Mayor Muriel Bowser addressed the impacts of gun violence.

“Behind every act of violence in our community, and behind all of the data that is tracked feverishly, we know that there are real people,” said Mayor Bowser.

“Behind every violent robbery or carjacking, there is a ripple of trauma,” she continued.

Her statement came less than 24 hours after police chief Robert Contee shared a letter on the latest crime data.

“Last year, 203 people lost their lives to senseless violence in our city. That’s 203 too many,” Contee said. “It’s up to all of us as we start 2023 to do everything in our power to continue the downward trend of violence in the District.”

“Every time a child picks up a gun, a group of friends loses its innocence,” Bowser said.

While Bowser said some of the city’s past efforts are working, she said there is still more work to do in 2023.

“We found programs that work like pathways which provide some of our most at-risk men job training, subsidized employment and long-term support,” she said. “If a child, for example, commits a violent offense or uses a gun in our city — too often there is no consequence. We know especially for our young people that sometimes accountability is not punishment. It’s a lifeline.”

While specific solutions for juvenile offenders were not provided, she said, “My promise to you is this, to our kids and our community is that we will use every lifeline to save our children.”