Public Emergency Declared by DC Mayor

( – Washington, DC, Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a pubic emergency in the city on November 13 to address its ongoing opioid crisis and the numerous incidents of youth crime. In a press release, she published different statistics related to the rise in crime among teenagers and children, which include 458 juvenile arrests for robbery from January to September, representing a 10 percent increase from all of 2022.

Some other crimes included carjacking, assault with dangerous weapons, and even homicide. Bowser said that a third (151) of every single carjacking in the capital was committed by children, which she described as an “alarming” situation that authorities need to resolve. The mayor added that in the first nine months of the year, 97 children and teenagers were shot, with 15 of them killed. She pointed out the statistic represents a 10 percent increase from the same period last year.

In her message, Bowser also mentioned that five youths were killed in the last five weeks before her emergency declaration. She noted that each one of these “kids” were being electronically monitored for previous crimes they committed in the capital city.

The Democratic leader said that her administration will increase placements in supervised facilities, group homes, and shelter homes. She pointed out that psychiatric programs will be available and noted that the city will increase drug abuse and trauma counseling for teenagers and children.

To prevent more crime, Bowser signed an emergency bill that will establish a presumption that pre-hearing detention is warranted when the DC Superior Court finds a significant probability that a youth has committed some violent crimes. She explained the main goal of the legislation is to lower repeat offenses.

In a separate statement, her office said that opioids’ overdoses have more than doubled in the capital city this year, from 213 to 461. To address the problem, the office noted that an increase in data-sharing is the main solution as it will provide a “complete picture” of opioid fatal and non-fatal overdoses.

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