D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced the Felon in Possession initiative which is expected to curb D.C.’s rising homicide rate. It will be implemented this month.
During a press conference on Wednesday, the mayor also extended her support to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie K. Liu’sstrategy for prosecuting illegal firearms and felony cases in the federal court.
Federal agencies including the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Marshals and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives will be extending their support to the District’s Felon in Possession initiative. The U.S. District Court will be taking up the prosecutions of individual cases.
In recent years, D.C. has seen an increase in homicide incidents. In 2018, the District reported 160 homicide cases, while in 2017, there were 116 such incidents.
Mayor’s office said in a statement that for a safer, stronger D.C., there must be swift and certain accountability for people arrested for gun crimes.
“Today, we are primarily focused on one specific charge: felon in possession. In addition to increasing accountability for repeat offenders, we also remain very focused on preventing crime before it happens, expanding opportunity for residents who are at risk of perpetuating or falling victim to violent crime, and ensuring that our returning citizens have access to meaningful resources and supports,” Bowser said in the statement.
With D.C. ending 2018 with a 40 percent jump in homicides, Mayor Muriel Bowser and U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu announced Wednesday that felons in the city arrested on a gun possession charge will be prosecuted in federal court. https://t.co/2bzoztRRc4
— ABC 7 News – WJLA (@ABC7News) February 7, 2019
D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham, who was present with the mayor at the briefing, thanked the U.S. attorney and other federal partners for sharing their federal resources to help the District counter rising crime rate.
“We are seeing that folks that are convicted felons, that subsequently go out and pick up a firearm — it’s an indication that, at some point in the future, they could potentially be involved in the shootings and the homicides that occur in our city,” said Newsham.
The Bowser Administration has also recently announced a $6 million investment for strengthening workforce training and violence intervention programs.