WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The Metropolitan Police Department is set to receive $3.1 million from the United States Department of Justice through the Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Program.
This money will help the police department fill a number of vacancies and increase resources so that there is someone to answer the increased call of service that the department is seeing. Directly, the award will fund an additional 25 officers in Fiscal Year 2022.
“I committed to throwing every resource necessary at reducing violent crime. This funding brings us closer towards the original $11 million I proposed over the summer to strengthen our police force,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. “The safety of all District residents remains my number one priority and that means making sure MPD has the staff and talent it needs to protect our communities.”
Currently, MPD. has the lowest number of officers in more than two decades, at approximately 3,500. This comes after a hiring freeze in 2020 and a lack of funding from the D.C. Council, despite Mayor Bowser requesting more in her most recent budget.
“We are honored to receive this grant from the Department of Justice, which will allow us to hire more officers to ensure the safety of our residents,” said Chief of Police Robert J. Contee III. “MPD is an essential element of making our city safer, and the investments in our force are necessary to combat gun violence.”