Amid spiraling crime in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has declared a state of emergency in the jurisdiction that is currently home -- at least on a part-time basis -- to President Joe Biden, as Fox 5 reports.
According to Bowser, her office will initiate new approaches in the fight against two main areas of concern in the city, a serious increase in violent crimes committed by underage offenders and the impact of the opioid crisis on the community as a whole.
Juvenile crime creates crisis conditions
As Breitbart notes, Washington, D.C. is currently ranked 173 out of 182 American cities in terms of safety, falling five spots in the last year alone.
Through the initial nine months of this year, 863 carjacking incidents had been reported, with 151 juveniles arrested in connection to those crimes and an additional 458 youngsters arrested in relation to robberies, homicides, and assaults.
During a press conference announcing the emergency declaration, Bowser said that the statistics reveal “that we have to provide more intervention for kids who are in trouble. To that end, this public emergency will allow us to increase capacity more quicky and efficiently across the continuum of placements for kids that are ordered by judges into care.”
Opioid epidemic hits home
Also to be addressed via Bower's declaration is the opioid crisis gripping the D.C. area, which has seen a doubling of overdose deaths from 2018 to 2022.
Notably, 96% of overdoses related to opioid use are related to fentanyl, a scourge that has overtaken American cities and towns, large and small.
The emergency declaration, according to Bowser's office, “will allow the District to immediately modify the current data sharing agreement between the Department of Behavioral Health, DC health, and the Fire and Emergency Medical Services to require District agencies to input suspected non-fatal overdoses into a common data tracking system” which will then facilitate “deployment of outreach teams to overdose hotspots and impacted areas” and “the provision of harm reduction services and supports.”
Plenty of blame to go around
The crime wave in D.C. has not escaped the attention of prominent figures such as former President Donald Trump, currently the 2024 GOP primary frontrunner, who has described the capital as a “dirty, crime ridden death trap” that has been grossly mismanaged by its Democrat leadership.
Trump declared that Washington “must be taken over and properly run by the Federal Government,” something he said “is, and will be, part of my Election Platform. We will clean it, renovate and rebuild it – and, most importantly, MAKE IT SAFE.”
Much blame for the current state of D.C. has been laid at the feet of Matthew Graves, the federal prosecutor appointed by President Joe Biden who also bears responsibility for pursuing local criminal charges within the district, as Breitbart has noted separately.
Graves, however, has shown little interest in prosecuting the juvenile offenders who have contributed so significantly to the current crime wave, with 67% of those arrested in 2022 having eluded consequences altogether, and though Bowser's declaration may be a small step in rectifying the present state of affairs, absent a willingness to seek real justice in the courts, the status quo may prove hard to shake.