Members of the DC Metropolitan Police Department bicycle unit ride up 15th Street Northwest to greet the protesters carrying a 50-foot inflated marijuana joint down the street. /Photo by Nancy Shia @nancy_shia
**FILE** Members of the DC Metropolitan Police Department's bicycle unit (Nancy Shia/The Washington Informer)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser launched Monday the city’s annual “Summer Crime Initiative,” a coordinated effort to reduce violent crime through strategic prevention and focused enforcement in specific areas across the District.

Every year, for nearly 10 years, the Metropolitan Police Department has identified five to six focus areas that have experienced a high density of violence and utilized all available resources, including collaborative outreach, to prevent violent crime in those areas during the summer months.

“We know that crime and violence prevention is about more than just policing,” Bowser said. “The Summer Crime Prevention Initiative builds safer, stronger neighborhoods by expanding access to opportunities that keep our young people safe and engaged, connecting residents to employment opportunities, and ensuring more neighborhoods get the attention and supports they need to thrive.”

The initiative aims to:

• reduce violent crime;

• remove illegal guns from neighborhood streets;

• hold repeat violent offenders accountable;

• utilize all available resources and latest crime-fighting technology;

• collaborate with partner agencies and organizations for additional assistance; and

• conduct innovative outreach for all community members.

“Over the course of the past 10 years, the efforts of MPD and our partner agencies during the Summer Crime Initiative have greatly contributed to the steady decrease in violent crime across the District,” said Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham. “Our goal is to build upon the successes of the past SCI’s and develop thriving relationships with community members in these areas.”

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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