The White House on Monday issued a memorandum ahead of the release of President Joe Biden’s comprehensive strategy to combat gun violence.
Administration officials said the strategy implements preventative measures proven to reduce violent crime and attacks the root causes, including investing in effective community policing and addressing the flow of firearms used to commit crimes.
The District counts among those who stand to benefit.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s fiscal year 2022 budget proposal uses American Rescue Plan funding to invest a collective $59 million to reduce gun violence and build safer neighborhoods.
The mayor’s proposal would deliver:
- $3.4M to add 100 new slots for the Metropolitan Police Department’s cadet program
- $11.4M to support returning citizens with financial assistance through community-based organizations, financial coaching and peer navigators as they transition back into the community
- $7.8M for additional violence interrupters and $400K for additional credible messengers
- $13.8M for youth safety initiatives including an expansion of Safe Passage, out-of-school activities for youth and enhanced training for school resource officers
- $6.8M for the Department of Behavioral Health, the District Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Works to respond to non-emergency 911 calls for mental health distress, minor traffic crashes and parking complaints
- $5.6M to create 110 dedicated employment opportunities through the Department of Public Works for individuals at risk of gun violence
- $4.5M for D.C. Pathways, a transitional employment program, to serve an additional 100 individuals at risk of gun violence
- $4.6M to provide more wrap-around support services including Pathways Champions positions for at-risk individuals, Project Empowerment (a work readiness program for people with multiple barriers to employment), intensive care coordination, housing assistance/relocation and transportation support
- $1.9M to expand trauma-informed mental health services
- $2.2M for temporary safe housing for residents involved in gun violence
- $1.5M for community investment grants to carry out neighborhood action plans in focus neighborhoods
In addition, the Biden Administration said it will provide additional support to help the District address violent crime. That includes the Department of Justice launching a new law enforcement strike force focused on addressing significant firearms trafficking corridors that have diverted guns to D.C.
“[The District] is part of the White House’s new ‘Community Violence Intervention Collaborative’ of 16 jurisdictions aimed at sharing resources and best practices to maximize the impact of evidence-driven community violence intervention programs,” White House officials stated in a memorandum.
“The historic funding from the American Rescue Plan is also being supplemented by additional federal efforts to support communities and crack down on gun crime.”
As part of that support, the Department of Justice announced the launch of gun trafficking strike forces in five areas nationwide including New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and the Bay Area.
The President also has already taken steps to strengthen regulations to keep guns out of the wrong hands by cracking down on ghost guns – homemade firearms that often cannot be traced by law enforcement due to the lack of a serial number, increasingly being used in crimes.
“He also continues to push Congress to take long-overdue action to prevent guns from being used in crimes including strengthening background checks, renewing the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and ending immunity for gun manufacturers,” White House officials said.