D.C. police force on the verge of shrinking

D.C. is one of the best examples of a city that completely turned its crime around. The District halved its number of violent crimes between 1995 and 2010, and is no longer considered one of the most dangerous cities in America. The changes might not be permanent, however, as D.C.’s police force looks like it will shrink.

D.C.’s police force is shrinking due to a myriad of reasons, including the practice of mass hiring in the past, which is causing a current trend of mass retirements, as well as the slowing or halting of hiring in the past decade because of the recession.

Although MPD is in need of people willing and able to work, senior officers are forced into retire due to a mandatory retirement age. On average, according to the Post, 15 officers leave MPD every month.

Furthermore, MPD is finding it difficult to retain new police officers who graduate the D.C. police academy because they became homesick or remained on waiting lists for hometown police departments, says police chief Cathy Lanier, exacerbating the manpower shortage situation.

A shrinking police force does not pair well with a city that has a growing population and a growing number of 911 calls. According to the Post, D.C. received 20,000 more emergency calls in 2013 than in 2012. Ultimately, Vox is worried whether he should fear for his own safety in this city, and whether he can brace himself for more rapid-fire emails from GUPD about burglaries in the ICC.

Photo: Georgetown Voice

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