DC deploys new unit of officers on 2-wheels

D.C. residents will soon see more police officers on bikes and scooters as part of the city police chief’s effort to increase engagement. But, Robert Contee said, the new unit won’t only deploy to the city’s neighborhoods that see the most crime.

Officers volunteered for the assignment to be part of the community focused patrol unit, riding bikes and scooters in the city. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

Before the rain drenched Chief Contee and the two dozen officers in the community-focused patrol unit standing beside their bikes in the background of his press conference, he outlined how the department will determine where they patrol.

“The focus clearly is on violent crime,” Contee said of the unit that was set up two weeks ago.

“In times where our manpower has decreased by almost 215 officers since October 2020, MPD must more effectively use the more limited resources that we have,” he said.

However, while Contee spoke just a mile from where 6-year-old Nyiah Courtney was shot and killed, he said Congress Heights Southeast won’t see the biked officers first.

“We have plenty of resources deployed there. We are not going to neglect communities, but we need to spread out our activities across the city,” he said.

Those living in Columbia Heights, Parkwood, Washington Highlands and the Bloomingdale area will see the new units first, he said.

They will move based on crime data from the previous 14-days, and how it compares to the same time period the year before.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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