The following statement is from DC Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6), who chairs the Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, on the release of the recommendations from the Police Reform Commission, available here: https://dcpolicereform.com/
“I want to offer my sincere thanks to the members of the Police Reform Commission, who took up the task of envisioning the future of policing and public safety at a critical juncture. The Council asked a lot of them, and they have taken the task as seriously and thoughtfully as I could have hoped. Their many recommendations now come to the full Council and the public to be reviewed and considered. Some of these recommendations may require Council action, but others could be implemented or funded immediately.
The Commission’s recommendations come at a crucial time – here at home and across our country. We have all asked police officers to be our only response to far too many social issues, often issues for which they’re not best equipped, where alternative responses might be more appropriate, or in which their involvement creates harm. The trust between officers and the communities they serve is frayed and in some areas is broken. We are challenged by the daily trauma of gun violence in our neighborhoods, including not one but two shootings just yesterday in Congress Heights, and whole communities being disappeared through mass incarceration.
As a society and as a District government, we have continuously disinvested in communities and doubled down on law enforcement. It would be at our own collective peril to ignore the urgency of these challenges. At this important crossroads, a new MPD Chief nominee has expressed an openness to significant change. A new approach by the District to gun violence as a public health emergency signals a more comprehensive and urgent approach to solutions. These are important steps within the moment we face, and I expect that all branches of government, as well as the public, will take these recommendations seriously and collectively join together in the difficult conversations necessary to reimagine policing and public safety.”