“Robert White believes that the lack of progress in handling the upturn in violent crime in the District is unacceptable, and the lack of clear direction from the top puts all our residents at risk. With stronger local prosecutorial power and a proactive approach to crime, we can make our city safer and prevent crime.”
From a Personal Perspective: Growing up in D.C. during one of our most violent times, I know that we all want safe neighborhoods. While we are not at the crime levels of the 80’s and 90’s, we still don’t feel safe in our neighborhoods or on Metro. Public safety must not be addressed in isolation, as I know that stronger schools, affordable housing, and job training are key components of driving down crime.
On Changes Robert White Would Make: We need more police in our communities, and we need those police to be known to the people on each block that they patrol. We talk about it a lot, but we don’t see it in practice enough. We need real relationships between the cops on the beat and the residents of neighborhoods. When you know someone by name and see each other often, reactions are much more likely to change from confrontational to supportive. This is one of the things I have worked on as President of the Brightwood Citizens Association, and I will continue to do so as your At-Large Councilman.
On Leadership Changes: I’m not comfortable with the range of reasons that we hear on why crime is spiking, and I believe that we need to hold the Police Chief accountable. I also don’t believe that we need more cops behind desks; our officers should be where we can see them. However, as city employees who work to ensure public safety, they must be properly trained in cultural competency and on how to deal with various types of interactions.
On Body Cameras: I support body cameras, which are long overdue. Body cameras offer us clear insight onto what is happening in a given situation, and they offer insight into how we may need to train offers differently or amend certain policies. There are always going to be problem situations, but these preventative measures will ensure that they are rare.