Judiciary Committee Update - Upcoming Council Vote on Secure DC and Performance Oversight

Posted by
V. Casarrubias
February 2, 2024

Dear Neighbor,

Today, I want to remind you about the upcoming vote on my Secure DC omnibus bill to make all District residents safer and more secure.

First Vote on Secure DC

On Tuesday, February 6th, my Secure DC bill will have its first vote before the full Council. In order for Secure DC to have the most meaningful impact on the District to address the unacceptable levels of crime and violence our communities are facing, and to continue to move the bill through the legislative process, Secure DC must be passed by the Council without amendments.

District residents deserve the Council’s urgent action to address the public safety challenges the District is experiencing and make our neighborhoods safer and more secure. My Secure DC omnibus is the culmination of a robust and thoughtful public engagement process that makes me confident that taken together, the 100+ interventions and solutions in the bill will make DC residents safer by preventing crime, ensuring accountability when crime does occur, and improving government coordination to meet the needs of District residents.

As I shared in my last newsletter, Secure DC passed unanimously out of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety on January 17th. Throughout all of 2023, the Committee engaged with thousands of residents and my Council colleagues, who informed and shaped Secure DC during public hearings on each of the bills included in the omnibus package, public safety walks in all eight wards, and meetings with residents and stakeholders.

You can voice your support for the passage of Secure DC without amendments with your Ward and At-Large Councilmembers. Just as I have worked closely with you – neighbors and stakeholders across the District -- throughout this process to ensure Secure DC will meaningfully and sustainably address safety in the District, we all must now come together to take action to make our communities safer and more secure.

You can learn more about Secure DC and the Committee’s work at brookepintodc.com and reach out to my team at judiciary@dccouncil.gov.

Yours in Service,


The Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety – along with all other Committees at the Council – will be holding performance oversight hearings through the rest of February until March 1st. Performance oversight hearings allow the Council and residents to receive updates from government agencies, ask questions, and hear resident testimony about their experiences receiving services from District agencies. Members of the public are invited to provide testimony and watch the hearings.

Next week, the Judiciary Committee will hold two performance oversight hearings. The first will be on February 7th with Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Department of Corrections, and the Corrections Information Council. The second will be on February 8th with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Office of Unified Communications. All hearings will be hybrid, and you may watch hearings in-person at the Wilson Building and virtually on YouTube.

You can find information on all upcoming hearings at the Council and sign up to testify here.

Witnesses who anticipate needing language interpretation, or requiring sign language interpretation, are asked to inform the Committee of the need as soon as possible but no later than five business days before a hearing during registration or by contacting Ms. Aukima Benjamin, Committee Manager to the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, at (202) 724-8058 or via e-mail at judiciary@dccouncil.gov.  

Chairwoman Pinto has been on the ground, working directly with our public safety partners to address crime and violence in the city.

Chairwoman Pinto convened a performance oversight hearing on the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Forensic Sciences.

Chairwoman Pinto met with FEMS Chief Donnelly to discuss opportunities to support the District’s first responders and improve emergency response.

Chairwoman Pinto met with the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform’s David Muhammad to discuss implementing a centralized, coordinated gun violence reduction strategy in the District.

Chairwoman Pinto joined a Ward 5 Community Meeting on Public Safety hosted by Ward 5 Councilmember Parker to answer resident questions about her Secure DC omnibus bill.

Chairwoman Pinto spoke at the ribbon cutting for Stead Recreation Center about the need for access to excellent and safe recreation space for all ages across the District.

Chairwoman Pinto attended the Mayor-Council breakfast meeting in Gallery Place and shared about the interconnectedness of public safety and the stabilization of our downtown.

Chairwoman Pinto convened a performance oversight hearing on the Sentencing Commission and Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants.

Team Pinto participated in the annual Point In Time Count, a critical process the District utilizes to determine housing and supports needs for unhoused neighbors.  

Watch: NBC4: Net zero rec center opens on P Street in Northwest DC. “'This was really a community-driven effort to make sure that Stead recreation center is really most responsive to what this neighborhood and what the city really needs, which is access to excellent, safe recreation space,' D.C. Council member Brooke Pinto said.

Watch: WUSA9: DC Councilmembers debate massive crime bill. “’This is our opportunity for the council to...mov[e] our city forward,' said bill sponsor CM Brooke Pinto. Pinto’s bill includes over one hundred initiatives from twelve small crime proposals already debated in the council and in public hearings.”

Watch: FOX 5 DC: DC Council to consider Secure DC bill that would be tougher on criminals. “'We know, and study after study, tells us, that swiftness and certainty of getting caught is a deterrent to crime,' Pinto said. 'And so Secure DC does a number of things, creating new levels of firearm offenses, for instance to go after the unacceptable levels of gun violence that are plaguing our communities right now. Changes definitions to things like carjacking to empower our prosecutor to bring more of these cases.’”

The Hilltop: 90-Page ‘Secure DC’ Crime Bill Moves Forward In The Nation’s Capital. “’Secure DC is a critical and necessary step in the right direction,’ Pinto finished.”

Washington Examiner: DC crime legislation victories and failures over the years. “The Secure DC Omnibus bill addresses many concerns that arose following the passage of the [Prioritizing Public Safety emergency] legislation. Pinto’s legislation includes over 100 initiatives from 12 small crime proposals already debated by the council and in public hearings.”

Watch: WJLA: DC Council public safety committee advances massive public safety bill. "As a lawmaker, I have a responsibility to respond to what we're seeing in the District of Columbia right now, and that's what Secure D.C. aims to do - to prevent crime, to hold perpetrators of crime accountable, and to improve government coordination. And that's what I'm always going to do as a lawmaker, to be responsive to what thousands of residents are calling for - this needed action - and needing to shift direction and ensure we have a safer and more secure city,’ Pinto said.”

Washington Post Editorial Board: A crime-free D.C. starts with drug-free zones. “The bill would address this by empowering the police to declare 1,000-square-foot areas drug-free zones for five days, whereupon officers would issue notices declaring it unlawful to congregate in them for the purpose of using, buying or selling drugs... The proposal before the council appropriately balances public safety and constitutional concerns.”

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