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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Bowser Announces New Public Safety Legislation

Monday morning DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Robert Contee spoke about new public legislation aimed at increasing public safety, specifically focused on “gaps” in the law.

This “common sense legislation” focuses on illegal firearms, protecting vulnerable populations and transparency. Specifically, these laws will:

  • Work to tackle illegal guns through increases in penalties for use and possession.
  • Give greater discretion to the courts about which individuals should be held pre trial.
  • Strengthen the provisions that allow people to petition for early release to ensure that the experiences of victims and the discretion of the courts are given proper consideration.
  • Focus on protecting vulnerable populations such as transit workers.
  • Improve transparency through a requirement for the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) report on their process and outcomes.
  • Recommend stringer penalties for violent crimes against older adults or persons with physical or mental disabilities.

Bowser noted that she believes filling these “gaps” will make the District a safer place to live, work and play, but emphasized that a single action is not a final solution.

“There isn’t one single solution to ending gun violence,” Bowser said. “Public safety is an all day every day public effort. The safety of our community is my top priority.”

Contee spoke about his time at MPD and in support of the new legislation.

“It is my hope that these common sense recommendations will not fall on deaf ears,” Contee said of the Mayor’s proposal.

Sarah Payne is a reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com.

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