FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Zoe Ades, Communications Director
COUNCILMEMBER PINTO ANNOUNCES PASSAGE OF EMERGENCY PUBLIC SAFETY BILLS
Today, the DC Council passed Councilmember Brooke Pinto’s slate of emergency public safety bills — the “Prioritizing Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2023,” the “Law Enforcement Vehicular Pursuit Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2023,” and the “Office of Unified Communications Transparency and Accuracy Emergency Amendment Act of 2023.” These bills will address pressing gaps in our legal system and public safety apparatus by promoting accountability for offenders, supporting victims, ensuring police have the tools they need to keep communities safe, and improving accountability and transparency at our 911 call center.
“Today our government leaders came together to take immediate action to pass my legislation, addressing our public safety emergency and taking tangible steps to make our city safer this summer,” said Councilmember Pinto. “I am proud of the robust support my legislation received and am grateful to Mayor Bowser for her partnership in developing and putting forward this common-sense legislation. Today’s vote sends a clear message that the current state of crime and violence cannot be tolerated and that our government is working together to make DC residents safer. We must continue to build on the legislation we passed today to better invest in preventative tools and interrupt cycles of violence. However, this legislation is a major step forward in our efforts to create a safer DC for all our residents.”
The Prioritizing Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2023 will:
Prevent crime and violence by
Ensure accountability for offenders by
Protect victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence by
Increase data sharing and transparency by
The Law Enforcement Vehicular Pursuit Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2023 clarifies the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Act of 2022 to address Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) concerns that the language of the legislation requires MPD to implement a no-pursuit policy in regards to vehicles – a policy no jurisdiction in the United States has – limiting MPD’s ability to pursue dangerous individuals, even in the most extreme of circumstances. The emergency legislation makes clarifying changes to the limitation on vehicle pursuits to ensure that MPD can authorize its officers to engage in pursuits when necessary to protect the public’s safety. The legislation would retain strict limits on pursuits, allowing pursuits only where the fleeing suspect has committed a crime of violence or poses an imminent threat to public safety, and where pursuit is necessary and can be conducted in a way that mitigates the risk of injury to innocent people.
The Office of Unified Communications Transparency and Accuracy Emergency Amendment Act of 2023 moves on an emergency basis accountability and transparency measures that Councilmember Pinto introduced in the “Office of Unified Communications Transparency and Accuracy Amendment Act” last month. Understanding the urgent needs to improve the operations at OUC and ensure the public has access to transparent data, the emergency legislation enables these measures to go into effect immediately.
The Office of Unified Communications Transparency and Accuracy Emergency Amendment Act of 2023 will: