DC mayor’s budget calls for hiring more police officers

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wants the next budget to bulk up the police department.

The mayor’s proposed budget for the 2023 fiscal year includes $30 million to recruit and retain officers, and she wants the force increased to 4,000 sworn officers.

“We’ve been at 4,000 recently. But when you have two years of no hiring, and attriting about 300 a year, you get to force levels that are 3,500 or below, and we think that can be dangerous,” Bowser said.

The District needs to act now to increase its numbers, she said, to prevent a situation in which there are slow 911 response times due to a lack of officers.

“That’s too late to be investing in police, and D.C. residents deserve more,” Bowser said. “They deserve to have their 911 call answered immediately.”

Her budget proposal also allocates $26 million to replace aging Fire and EMS emergency response vehicles.

With the proposed budget, the mayor also hopes to keep a better eye on your driving habits: There is a $9.4 million provision to add 170 new traffic cameras in the District. Such cameras would look for various infractions — from speeding and red light running to parking in a bus lane.

Below are some other highlights of the proposed budget.

Public safety proposals

  • $1.1 million for a pilot program to provide up to five years in rental assistance and matched savings for those at risk of violence.
  • $6 million for violence prevention and diversion for at-risk, non-incarcerated youths.
  • $7.3 million in grants for victims of sexual assault and other victim services.

Proposals addressing homelessness

  • $31 million to invest in Homeward DC, which will add permanent supportive housing vouchers for 500 more people, 260 more families, and 10 more youths.

Health and human service proposals

  • $11.5 million to retain professionals who care for vulnerable residents by raising wages over a three-year period.
  • $4.5 million to expand school nursing services in public and public charter schools.

Education proposals

  • A 5.87% increase in the base amount of the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula.
  • $43.6 million to replace aging HVACs and boilers in schools.
  • $15 million for preventive maintenance of HVACs and boilers to ensure systems work year-round.
  • $3.8 million to safeguard students’ mental health through the school-based mental health program.
  • A new indoor sports complex around RFK Stadium. It would turn the campus into “the premier destination for training, learning, clubs, tournaments and competitions.”

Transportation proposals 

  • $36 million over six years to add 10 new miles of protected bike lanes per year to the District’s bike lane network.
  • $9.4 million to support over 100 newly created full-time school crossing guard positions.
  • $57 million to complete the K Street Transitway, providing protected bus and bike lanes through downtown.
  • $15 million over six years to continue expanding Capital Bikeshare so that every resident has a station within a quarter-mile of their home.

Housing affordability proposals

  • $500 million contribution to the housing production trust fund and $41 million for project-sponsor vouchers to make housing affordable to low-income residents.
  • $110 million to rehabilitate or replace more than 1,500 units of public housing over three years.
  • $120 million in rent and utility assistance across two years, plus $12 million for a new housing provider fund.
  • $26 million to give low-income first-time homebuyers down payment and closing cost assistance.
Michelle Murillo

Michelle Murillo has been a part of the WTOP family since 2014. She started her career in Central Florida before working in radio in New York City and Philadelphia.

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