I’m Beau Finley and I’m running to represent Ward 3 on the DC Council.
Everyone deserves to be safe, in Ward 3 and across the District. The recent increase in crime, especially along Connecticut Avenue in Van Ness and Forest Hills, has led to stress and anxiety among those of us who frequent the corridor. Ward 3 deserves a response beyond the status quo that will get results and not just make headlines.
We have the sixth largest police force in the country, but we’re only the twentieth largest city. We have the most police per capita of any major city, not including Metro Transit Police, the Capitol Police, and other Federal Law Enforcement.
So when we talk about public safety, we need to focus on our approach to policing, rather than focusing on the size of the police force.
According to the last DC Auditor’s assessment of MPD, our police spend only 22% of their time on calls for service, far below the average for cities our size.
Since the beginning of this campaign, I’ve been saying we need to invest in community policing. This is a model where you see the same officers regularly in your neighborhood. In Ward 3, we used to see these officers on the street, walking or biking through our neighborhoods. Today, our MPD special liaison units are a great example of successful community policing.
Community policing builds trust between police officers and the community. If we comprehensively adopt community policing, it will mean more police on patrol. And with more police regularly on patrol, community policing means more eyes on the street. A more visible police presence acts as a deterrent to would-be criminals.
And having police in our neighborhoods means that MPD’s IMMEDIATE response times should improve.
Our priority one response times - those emergencies where an individual is in imminent danger - slowed down from 2020 to 2021 by almost a minute and a half, which needlessly puts lives at risk. But with our police engaged in community policing, we will see a reduction in response times because police will be more likely to actually be in our neighborhoods where emergencies occur.
So let’s adopt community policing, conduct a new audit to see how we can improve MPD, and reduce emergency response times.
For more of my plans to improve public safety and make Ward 3 safer, please visit my website at www.beaufinley.com.