COUNCILMEMBER PINTO CALLS FOR PASSAGE OF HER COMPREHENSIVE OMNIBUS LEGISLATION, SECURE DC, TO URGENTLY ADDRESS CRIME
Today, Councilmember Brooke Pinto introduced the Secure DC Omnibus, a historic public safety legislative package with over one hundred interventions that respond to calls from the community to address the unacceptable level of crime and violence undermining safety in the District. Councilmember Pinto, Chairwoman of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, urges the Council to pass the legislation this month and the Executive to fund it in the upcoming budget.
“Every day, I hear from residents across all eight wards about the urgent need to address crime in our neighborhoods. My Secure DC Omnibus is our opportunity to turn the tide on the crime trends that have overwhelmed our communities,” said Councilmember Pinto. “It is resoundingly clear—from residents across the District, businesses, visitors, and our federal and regional partners—that urgent and effective action is needed now.”
The legislation is informed by feedback from thousands of residents and stakeholders during hearings, public safety walks, and community meetings in all eight wards. Councilmember Pinto will move the Secure DC Omnibus for a vote out of the Committee on Wednesday, January 17th.
“Secure DC brings together the strongest legislative proposals I considered this fall to better equip DC agencies and communities with needed tools to prevent crime, increase accountability, and strengthen government coordination,” said Councilmember Pinto. “Secure DC is a critical and necessary step in the right direction.”
The Secure DC Omnibus includes provisions from Councilmember Pinto’s Secure DC Plan, along with many of the proposals from other colleagues and Mayor Bowser’s Safer Stronger and ACT Now bills. The Secure DC Omnibus includes the following initiatives, among others:
Prevention and Ending Cycles of Violence
- Safe Commercial Corridors: Establish a District-wide grant program to provide funds for commercial corridors to put toward safety-enhancing interventions;
- Safe Transit Corridors: Establish a pilot program to install “blue light” technology and cameras in transit stations to deter crime;
- Drug Free Zones: Reinstate MPD’s ability to declare drug-free zones where hotspots of crime and drug activity occur and allow communities to reclaim public space;
- Prearrest Diversion Taskforce: Establish a task force to develop recommendations to increase diversion, treatment, and accountability for individuals who commit low-level offenses when appropriate;
- Hospitality Training: Establish a hospitality career training program at DC Jail to improve reentry outcomes;
- Nutrition at DC Jail: Set minimum nutrition standards for healthy food served at DC Jail.
Accountability for Crime
- Gun Penalties: Establish new felony offenses for endangerment with a firearm and unlawful discarding of firearms and ammunition;
- Victim Protection: Establish a new felony offense for strangulation; Enhance protections for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and transportation workers and passengers;
- Pretrial Detention: Creates a rebuttable presumption in favor of pretrial detention for violent crimes committed by juveniles and adults; require judges to explain decisions to allow for pretrial release in such cases;
- Carjacking: Expand the definition of carjacking to improve prosecution;
- Retail Theft: Establish a new crime for “directing organized retail theft"; lower the threshold for the felony offense of retail theft from $1,000 to $500;
- Filling Gaps: Permit GPS records to be admissible in court; permit DNA collection earlier in the process for serious offenses to enhance case closure.
Government Coordination and Oversight
- OUC Transparency: Require the Office of Unified Communications to publicly share data and metrics on 911 call center performance; require updates to the 311 system;
- Fare Evasion: Ensure civil violations for fare evasion can be enforced;
- Vehicular Chases: Allow officers to pursue vehicular chases if there is an imminent threat;
- Police Interactions: Ensure officers are able to safely and appropriately engage with suspects during arrests;
- Body-Worn Cameras: Permit officers to review body-worn-camera footage in cases not involving a serious use of force;
- DC Sentencing Commission: Increase Council and Mayoral representation on the Commission with a fairer balance of DC representation:
- Gun Tracking: Require annual firearm tracing reports to help reduce the flow of illegal weapons into the District;
- Data on Programs, Diversion, and Sentencing: Require Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to share data on programs, diversion, and sentencing agreements.
Secure DC Omnibus provisions are included from the following bills:
- Addressing Crime through Targeted Interventions and Violence Enforcement (ACTIVE) Act
- Safe Commercial Corridors Amendment Act of 2023
- Improving Safety and Emergency Response on Transit Corridors Amendment Act of 2023
- Food Regulation Ensures Safety and Hospitality Specialty Training Aids Reentry Transition and Success (FRESH STARTS) Act of 2023
- Prioritizing Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act
- Office of Unified Communication (OUC) Transparency & Accuracy Amendment Act 2023
- Metro Safety Amendment Act of 2023
- Accountability and Victim Protection Amendment Act of 2023
- Addressing Crime Trends (ACT) Now Amendment Act of 2023 and Safer Stronger Amendment Act of 2023 (Mayor Muriel Bowser)
- Whole Government Response to Crime Act of 2023 (Councilmember Robert White)
- Private Security Camera System Incentive Program Small Business Expansion Amendment Act of 2023 (Councilmember Charles Allen)