WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDVM) — The D.C. Council has unanimously voted to approve a $5 million package for the Metropolitan Police Department to hire more officers.
The package will put an additional $6 million towards violence interruption measures. The council denied Mayor Muriel Bowser’s initial request of $11 million to provide for 170 new officers, in addition to the 135 she previously requested.
Council members say police officers are a key part of protecting the community but are just one piece of the puzzle.
“If we removed the non-public safety issues like traffic stops and noise complaints, things that are not public safety matters, from MPD’s responsibility, they would not be stretched so thin,” said Robert White, at-large councilmember.
Councilmember Janeese Lewis George says she is skeptical of the request from the mayor.
“Not meeting the request of MPD’s budget, even though MPD’s budget increased since last year…I cannot help but feel this last-minute budget request from the mayor is part of this political game,” said George.
Mayor Bowser’s request comes after a tough year recruiting new officers. The MPD was only able to hire 42 new officers and zero police cadets last year, falling short of the typical 250 new hires the force has per year.