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Public Safety.

While we’re all cheered by the fact that the homicide rate in the District is at a 20-year low, robbery and violent crimes still plague our city.

In the District of Columbia, one in every 21 people is under some sort of judicial supervision (incarceration, parole or probation). Not only is this a burden on our residents, it is also a burden on our finances.

For far too long, the accepted crime fighting strategy has been moving MPD officers from neighborhood to neighborhood, following crime rates.

Instead of pitting one community against another in a quest for service, the city needs a complete community policing program— from patrols and arrests to prosecutions to court-ordered supervision. A true community policing program puts offenders  and potential offenders in touch with police, community prosecutors and social service networks at every level, not just on the streets.

Community Patrols — Officers who are familiar with their community are the most effective members of the police force. Constantly moving officers around the District undermines both community cohesion and their ability to perform their duties. Allowing officers to advance within the same district would improve their bond and trust within the community. MPD must work with officers who wish to stay in a particular community, but need to work different shift hours;

Community Prosecutors — The District needs to return to a system of community prosecutors, where at least one prosecutor from the Attorney General’s office is assigned to each police command district (more than one for certain districts). Community Prosecution involves a long-term, proactive partnership among the prosecutor’s office, law enforcement, the community and public and private organizations. Through these partnerships the  authority of the prosecutor’s office can solve problems, improve public safety and enhance community members quality of life. At the Ward and ANC level community prosecutors focus on some of the duties customarily associated with community prosecution, such as attending community meetings and responding to quality-of-life complaints, they also provide crucial support to line prosecutors, who handle the bulk of cases, including everything from robberies and car-jackings to shootings and other serious assaults;

Court-ordered Supervision — A disproportionate number of street crimes are committed by offenders already under some sort of judicial supervision. One way to prevent a large share of criminal activity and cut costs is by helping probation and parole agencies focus their efforts on high-risk offenders in higher-risk neighborhoods and at higher-risk times through a strategy of targeted supervision;

Juvenile Justice —The District’s system of adjudicating young offenders needs to be completely overhauled. The punishment for children found guilty of a crime should not be completely meted out by the Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services — judges, prosecutors and victim and community impact statements must be taken into consideration in the juvenile justice system. Violent juvenile offenders must be incarcerated with an emphasis placed on training and educational opportunities to decrease recidivism.

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