DC’s top cop predicts ‘good summer’ despite rise in homicides

FILE — Then-interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham talks to WTOP on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. (WTOP/Ginger Whitaker)

WASHINGTON — Homicides are up significantly in D.C. so far this year, but the mayor and police chief say the District will get the problem under control.

Overall, violent crime in D.C. is down 8 percent in 2018, but homicides are up 41 percent from 39 at this time last year to 55 so far this year.

“Just like when we had a spike in shootings and violence in 2015, we got all the agencies of the government coordinated to respond. We were able to drive that crime down then and we will do it again,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser.

“If we need more resources, more officers, if we need changes to the law, we’re going to seek that too,” Bowser added.

“The homicide numbers right now are a little bit inflated because we have nine homicides that are counted from prior years in those numbers,” Police Chief Peter Newsham explained.

But he says there has also been an increase in violent crime in recent weeks.

“The violence is actually occurring in some of the Summer Crime Initiative areas. Those are the areas where we have a lot of resources right now, so I think we have our deployment in the right places,” Newsham said.

Newsham, like Bowser, sounded confident.

“We’re going to stop this little uptick in violence. Investigators are making significant progress in some of the recent violent cases we’ve seen in our city, so you’re going to see, we’re going to end up having a good summer here in the District,” he said.

They spoke during the “Crime Walk” in ward four, through parts of the 14th Street corridor Monday afternoon, where Bowser stopped to talk with residents, business owners and employees.


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