Residents in Washington, D.C., are begging for more police presence in crime-ridden neighborhoods after the city council extended several emergency crime-fighting laws on Tuesday, local network WTOP News reported.
The laws, which the council first implemented in July, allow police to pursue suspects in vehicles in some cases and expand judicial powers to keep suspects of violent crimes in jail before their trial, according to NBC4 Washington. But D.C. locals claim that the laws have done little to prevent crime in violent areas like Ward 7 and Ward 8, WTOP reported.
“It’s really gotten worse,” Belinda Robinson, a resident in a Southeast neighborhood of D.C., told WTOP. “And it’s like nobody cares.”
D.C. crime has exploded since January, and the city recently surpassed the 200-homicide mark at the earliest point in a quarter-century. Robberies have increased 70% since 2022, and 40% more violent crimes have occurred over the same time period, according to police data.
“It’s scary here,” one D.C. resident, who requested anonymity, told WTOP.
Residents called for more action by police officers and councilmembers to stop crime, and advocated for more resources to go to the police and crime-prevention programs, according to DC News Now, a local news network. One resident called for additional engagement opportunities for youth in endangered communities, while another local said that the city should do more to combat the ongoing drug crisis.
“I think what I’ve heard from some of the residents and citizens of the District of Columbia is that they would like to see more police officers and I think it’s really important that we reengage in this space,” Pam Smith, the acting police chief in D.C., told Fox5 DC in August.
The D.C. police department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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