Justice Department intensifies efforts to combat crime in Washington, D.C.

Justice Department intensifies efforts to combat crime in Washington, D.C. | Image Credit: foxnews.com
Justice Department intensifies efforts to combat crime in Washington, D.C. | Image Credit: foxnews.com

The Justice Department is deploying additional resources and prosecutors to combat gun violence and carjackings in Washington, D.C.

Why this matters With the increased spending, the nation’s capital hopes to reverse an upsurge in violent crime, which is unusual for large cities where homicide rates generally decreased last year.

Between the lines: In a year when President Biden is running for office, the federal government is becoming more involved in D.C.’s anti-crime campaign. Republicans used D.C. to make crime a national issue for a portion of 2023, calling on local authorities to testify on Capitol Hill regarding city administration.

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Creating the news: The Justice Department declared that it will use data analytics to find new violent crime and carjacking cases for the FBI and other government agencies to investigate. The DEA and the ATF are involved in the partnership.

In the meanwhile, more federal prosecutors will be assigned to focus on the city’s violent crime problem. The adult violent crime division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., is going to step up its efforts to combat carjacking and guns offenses.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the new initiative in a statement on Friday. “Last year, we witnessed a promising drop in violent crime in many places of the country, but there is still more work to do — including here in the District of Columbia,” Garland said.

According to the statistics, 2023 was the bloodiest year in D.C. since 1997, with 274 killings. The number of carjackings almost doubled to 959.

What we’re watching: A 90-page measure that is now making its way through the D.C. Council includes harsher punishments for gun offenses, no-loitering drug zones, and several other anti-violence recommendations.

It incorporates provisions of the tough-on-crime measure, which targets major retail thefts, initially presented by Mayor Muriel Bowser in late October. It also reinterprets what constitutes a police chokehold and forbids committing a crime while hiding behind a mask.

A complete vote on the omnibus package is scheduled for early February.

Source:
https://www.axios.com/local/washington-dc/2024/01/29/justice-department-dc-crime-resources


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