Amid defund-police conversations, DC police offer job that will directly impact 'future of policing'

The announcement comes city leaders and federal lawmakers across the country revisit conversations about defunding police departments amid violent crime rates that have been rising since 2020. In some cities, those conversations led to increased police funding whiles others led to significantly reduced funding amid calls to rethink policing.

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“Are you looking for a job that will make a direct impact on the future of policing at MPD?” the D.C. Police Department tweeted. “We are seeking to hire a Director for the Professional Development Bureau! Please visit: http://careers.dc.gov and search for JOB ID: 13428 to learn more!”

Job responsibilities include identifying “policy and programmatic impacts of legislative requirements” and directing “the development of departmental policies and procedures.”

Applicants must have experience managing operations for a government entity or other equivalent public or private organization and must have a “demonstrated knowledge of laws, regulations, executive orders, policies, directives and procedures governing public safety and justice.”

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The job pays between about $ 120,000 and $ 170,000 a year. Applications close on July 1. 

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser voiced concerns when the D.C. City Council voted in July of 2020 to reduce police department funding by $ 15 million and freeze hiring. Bowser’s office told The Washington Post that the hiring freeze will leave the department with an estimated 3,460 sworn-in officers compared to the department’s 3,800 officers that were employed before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

In her 2022 fiscal year budget released in May, however, Bowser increased funding for public safety initiatives by $ 45 million but did not include any additional funding for the police department. She also plans to hire just 135 new officers next year compared to the 280 new officers the department typically hires each year, according to the Post.

Those alternative safety initiatives include assistance for those released from prisons, including direct cash payments; 52 additional “violence interrupters” — a local alternative to police; $ 5 million to help those “at risk of gun violence” find government work; $ 2 million for those at risk of gun violence to find temporary housing; and $ 7 million for behavioral health and D.C. Transportation Department workers to respond to mental health-related calls, the Post reported.

D.C. crime rates so far in 2021 are not reflective of the rest of the country or other cities that voted to reduce police funding. While homicides are up 13%, the general violent crime rate has stayed the same over the last year, and total crime has decreased 5%.

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