D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during a June 30 press conference at the corner of 13th and U streets in Northwest to outline the city's public safety reparations ahead of the July Fourth weekend.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during a June 30 press conference at the corner of 13th and U streets in Northwest to outline the city's public safety reparations ahead of the July Fourth weekend.

Bowser administration officials are encouraging D.C. residents and visitors to have a safe and fun July Fourth weekend, stressing that city government employees will be out and available to help if needed.

Mayor Muriel Bowser, Metropolitan Police Chief Robert J. Contee III, D.C. Fire Marshal Mitchell Kannry and Gun Violence Prevention Director Linda Harllee Harper made the call for peace and safety on Thursday during a press event near the corner of 13th and U streets in Northwest to lay out the city’s public safety preparation plans.

“The Nightlife Task Force has been formed to implement a coordinated public safety response in our nightlife corridors with a goal of decreasing violent crime and nonviolent crime through Labor Day, after which we will assess its effectiveness and impact and its impact on crime and disorder,” Contee said, WTOP reported.

The U Street corridor, H Street NE and Connecticut Avenue NW have been designated as priority areas by the administration with a task force that will monitor public safety activity during the summer.

Contee said all city government agencies will have personnel in those corridors during the pilot. He added D.C. government employees will be inside of establishments “at times to ensure patrons are safe and enjoying themselves, and at the same time adhering to appropriate standards of behavior.”

Contee said the police department will staff the corridors during the pilot program and activities on the National Mall on July 4 without sacrificing public safety coverage of other neighborhoods in the city.

Kannry said fireworks must be handled with care.

“We want people to purchase legal fireworks,” Kannry said. “Children should not be allowed to deal with fireworks. Another major source of fires is grilling. When grilling, make sure the grill is in an isolated place. Someone should always be around while the grill is cooking.”

Harper said her agency will have Safety Go Teams consisting of violence interrupters, credible messengers, roving leaders and law enforcement partners moving around the city during the holiday from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

“We have almost a dozen Go Teams that will promote safety in community areas that are expecting large gatherings and large fireworks,” Harper said, WTOP reported. “Residents can expect to see us set up tents with [information about] District agency resources, summer meal sites for students, and Department of Parks and Recreation and Recreation camp-at-home bags.”

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