Incidents of violence and theft in our nation’s capital are extraordinarily high.
As local officials have been unwilling or unable to enact policies that would hinder this activity, the problem has only worsened in recent years.
Now, Muriel Bowser is turning heads with her latest idea to stop Washington, D.C.’s crime spree.
Auto thefts in Washington, D.C. have skyrocketed since last year.
Incidents have increased 101%, with 5,916 cars just since January, according to police data.
At the same time, violent crime in the city has increased 41%, while total crime has grown by 27% since last year.
The crime surge comes amid a generally soft-on-crime approach in the city since the 2020 death of George Floyd and subsequent rioting and civil unrest.
A new approach is sorely needed
That approach simply hasn’t worked, as residents and first responders have made it clear that their communities are no longer safe.
Earlier this month, Belinda Robinson, a city resident, told local TV station WTOP, “It’s really gotten worse, and it’s like nobody cares.”
Pam Smith, the acting police chief in D.C., told Fox5 DC, “I think what I’ve heard from some of the residents and citizens of the District of Columbia is that they would like to see more police officers and I think it’s really important that we reengage in this space.”
The city recently marked 200 homicides at the earliest point in the year in a quarter-century, while robberies have increased 70% since 2022, and 40% more violent crimes have occurred.
Against this backdrop of failure, Mayor Buriel Bowser (D) is now attempting to reverse some of these policies, unveiling a bill that would undo some of the criminal justice “reforms” that have been enacted.
Part and parcel of this new effort is a somewhat creative approach to recovering stolen vehicles amid the city’s auto theft epidemic.
The plan is to track vehicles to ward off theft and return stolen vehicles
While throwing repeat offenders behind bars for extended periods of time would perhaps have tempered the marked increase in auto thefts in recent years, Bowser and her administration have now come up with a new plan to recover stolen vehicles.
She plans to give drivers tracking devices to attach to their cars in the hopes of locating these vehicles if they get stolen.
The plan is to have residents in six of the city’s most vehicle theft-prone areas attach these devices inside their cars and allow them to be trackable via an app on the owner’s phone.
Acting police chief Smith said in a press release, “Our goal is not just to prevent carjackings and motor vehicle thefts, but also to ensure swift law enforcement action when these incidents occur. These tracking devices allow our officers and detectives to be better positioned to quickly locate stolen vehicles, recover property, and gather vital evidence for investigations.”
Bowser said in a separate press release, “Last week, we introduced legislation to address recent crime trends; this week, we are equipping residents with technology that will allow the Metropolitan Police Department to address these crimes, recover vehicles, and hold people accountable. We will continue to use all the tools we have, and add new tools, to keep our city safe.”
That the Mayor is belatedly taking the crime surge seriously is a welcome development, but much more needs to be done to get the criminal activity under control.
Hopefully, public officials in Washington, D.C. and in other deep blue cities internalize the lessons learned from hastily catering to the social justice mob for the good of those living in their communities.