Acting D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee decided the weather was enough and the enthusiasm elevated enough to lead Metropolitan Police Department officers and community members in a kickball game following a new initiative to reduce crime in the District on Monday.

Contee also provided athletic equipment to youth as part of a bid to build stronger relationships with the community.

The feel-good event followed Mayor Muriel Bowser’s launching the Safer Stronger DC Summer Crime Prevention Initiative, or SCI.

The program counts as a coordinated effort to reduce violent crime in specific areas in the District through strategic prevention and collaborative enforcement.

For nearly 11 years, the MPD has identified areas of the city that have experienced a high density of violence and utilized all available resources, including collaborative outreach, to prevent violent crime in those focus areas during the summer months, running from May 1-Aug. 31.

This year’s focus areas include Potomac Gardens, Rosedale/Langston Carver, Greenway/Fort Dupont, Marshall Heights/Benning Ridge, Washington Highlands and Douglas/Shipley.

“We bring the Summer Crime Prevention Initiative back each year because the data shows us that it drives down crime in the neighborhoods we target,” Bowser said in a news release. “The reason this initiative works is because it’s not just about policing and it’s not just about what MPD is doing — it’s about engaging people, providing opportunity, and working across DC Government to bring resources and supports to residents who need them.”

Through focused prevention and strategic enforcement and with the support of agency partners, SCI aims to:
· reduce violent crime.
· remove illegal guns from streets;
· hold repeat violent offenders accountable.
· utilize the latest crime-fighting technology.
· collaborate with partner agencies and organizations for additional assistance.
· implement innovative outreach for all community members.

Last year, compared to the previous summer, the 2020 target areas saw a 46% decrease in theft, a 29% decrease in burglaries, and a 25% decrease in overall crime.

“Our number one goal with the SCI has not changed — and that is to reduce violent crimes in the areas of the city that have traditionally been hit the hardest while building positive relationships with those in the community,” Contee said. “MPD is laser-focused on providing these targeted areas with all the available resources and utilizing evidence-based and intelligence-driven strategies to combat crime while partnering with other law enforcement agencies, community organizations and advocates with a collective goal to reduce crime.”

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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