City in CRISIS – DC Council’s Bold National Guard Proposal

( – Trayon White, the Democratic councilmember from Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8, asserted that Mayor Muriel Bowser should call for the National Guard’s assistance to stop excessive violent crime. He believes military deployment is necessary for his ward due to the high levels of violent crime with AK-47s and up to 100 rounds fired daily.

In his opinion, desperate times call for desperate measures. In August alone, 13 people have already been slain, and in 2023, there will have been 161 homicides, which shows a 28% increase from 2022. In addition to homicide, there has also been an increase in sexual assault, robberies, carjackings, and other violent crimes.

In White’s plan, Mayor Bowser would call on the National Guard to deploy in coordination with the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, and the White House since the Executive Branch and Congress have authority over local guard units and many of D.C.’s policies. White believes that the visibility of the guard would be the primary deterrent against further violent crime in the city, comparing it to a deployment of about 24 guardsmen three decades ago. White also said this is not a long-term solution to D.C.’s crime problem.

The Bowser administration has claimed that requests for the federal national guard will be made as appropriate and mindful of the constraints on the DC National Guard and the Metropolitan Police Department. Bowser hopes the recent nomination of a new chief of police and public safety legislation can help curb the surge in violent crime and homicides. The legislation increases the penalties for violent crime and illegal gun possession, classifies strangulation as felony assault, collects DNA earlier in the process for certain sexual offenses, and expands reimbursements for private security camera systems, among other measures. This work in D.C. means that calling in the national guard may be viewed as a last resort, but that crime is on the radar as an issue D.C. officials wish to tackle.

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