In D.C., gun violence is on the upswing
Over the past five years, there has been a dramatic spike in gun violence in the District.
The broad picture: Washington, D.C., is having trouble controlling gun violence despite numerous safety efforts, prevention programs, and tight gun restrictions.
What’s happening: The most gun violence has been occurring around Florida Ave. NW near Shaw, H St. NE near Kingman Park, and sections of Southeast near Anacostia.
Guns were used in 1,573 reported violent offenses in D.C. in 2017. Its number climbed by 40% in one year to 2,203.
3,152 weapons were seized by MPD last year, which is more than 800 more than in 2021.
Current Situation: In an effort to stop violent situations, WMATA has enhanced security at some stations by assigning more MPD officers to patrol them. This has been done in response to an upsurge in violence at Metro stations.
The D.C. Council is also debating whether to continue the previously announced phase-out of school resource officers. After being removed due to an increase in violence, school officers were already reinstalled in Montgomery County schools.
There are more young people committing violent crimes and becoming victims of them in D.C. as well.
According to the Washington Post, about half of the young people detained for violent offenses last year were uninvolved, which MPD called “staggering.” Petty crimes frequently come before violent ones.
Yes, but: D.C. is far less violent than it was during the height of the crack epidemic in the ’90s when the city averaged more than 400 homicides per year.
Overall, 2022 was less violent than 2021, although the number of homicides exceeded 200 for the second year in a row.
What’s next: The District is seeking help from residents and local organizations. The Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services is currently accepting grant applicants for projects aimed at mentoring at-risk youth as part of violence prevention efforts.