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Washington DC has in recent times been confronted by a myriad of problems. Chief among them is the rising crime rates which threaten to taint the city which is an important tourist and investment destination. My aim is to introduce a policy model to solve and address the problems facing the District of Columbia. In order to meet my objectives, I have developed a raft of radical measures that I believe will go along way towards changing the face of Washington and making it the choice of destination and a secure place for its residents to live. To achieve this I seek to focus my efforts mainly on the following key areas:
No snitching policies adopted by members of the community
The no-snitching campaign which is being popularized by the pop culture has been referred by the legal experts as a big blow to the law enforcement practice. Distraught law enforcement officers overburdened by rising rate of crime have been forced to trade freedom and lighter sentences with criminals in exchange of vital information leading to arrest of criminal kingpins mainly in robbery and drug trafficking. These complicate the judicial processes as the decisions are brokered behind the backs of the jury. The current trends where informers are slain on disclosure that they traded information with police are worrying and threaten to water down the fight against crimes. The no-snitching policy denies police crucial information hence becoming a hindrance to crime investigation (Wapt, 2008).
To curb the rising campaign by the no-snitchers bandwagon I am going to formulate a counter attack campaign aimed at educating and raising awareness among the public on the importance of working in collaboration with the law enforcers in the fight against crime and drug barons who are the main sponsors of the campaign. The witness protection program will also be revamped and given more powers to protect the witnesses against crime. I will also seek to hold talks with key stakeholders in the music industry to dissuade them from their no-snitch campaign which has also a negative effect on them especially with frequent rivalries between various camps. Some of these have led to many unresolved homicide cases including death of popular stars like Tupac, Notorious BIG, Jam master Jay among others (Hampson, 2006). Hence we can reliably argue the campaign has a counterproductive effect on them.
High frequency of robberies
Incidences of robberies have intensified in Washington DC with terrible consequences to the victim some of whom have been killed while others have been badly injured by the attackers. According to a survey carried by a group referred to as Reaching out To others Together, 80% of the youth were found to be highly exposed to gun violence. These have been suffering from antisocial conditions and violent activity due to lack of counseling and therapy. The only sustainable means of solving this crisis through instituting measures geared towards addressing the environmental issues that lead to gun violence. I will seek to control the infiltration of illegal guns to the public through sealing all the loopholes that encourage trade in illegal guns.
Murder rate have been rising making Washington one of the least safe places to live on the globe. Homicides pose a serious security to the security forces. To deal with this, the department of homeland security will have to harmonize their activities with other agencies such as the NYPD to expedite investigation and prosecution of cases. Relating to this since many students are also highly exposed to crime, I will seek to help procure counseling services to assist the many students who are suffering from the effects of traumatic disorder resulting to such exposures. Those students repeatedly exposed to crimes involving shooting incidences have reported post traumatic conditions such as withdrawal and some orientation towards criminal tendencies (Williams, 2008).
Gang violence is emerging as a household problem we can not afford to turn our backs on. Our streets are characteristic of violent episodes where many people are killed as others are serious injured by marauding gangs of youth. These street gangs have made the streets unsafe especially at night due to nocturnal nature of their activities which makes them very lethal. One of the strategic policies I have developed to curb their activity is increased surveillance in the streets by plain clothes enforcement especially in crime prone neighborhoods.
Drug trafficking and other related practices have been a headache in Washington DC for a long time. Organized gangs are involving on this underground trade that is highly organized with elaborate network channels. Drug dealing and violent crime go hand in hand. Those neighborhoods with high rates of crime experience high rates of crime at the same time. This complicates the fight against this form of crime. I propose to institute stringent measures to curb any form of trade and dealings with proceeds from such trade which are rampantly laundered in the economy.
According to Trinidad DC police, crime hampers the citizen right to movement around the neighborhood. The neighbored located in the North East Washington is faced with various challenge relating to heavy gun violence. To curb crime this and to restore sanity in the neighborhood, military style checkpoints will be introduced. Motorists traveling in and out of Trinidad will have to undergo comprehensive screening and grilled on their identity and their mission in the neighborhood. Those who flout the rules or lack sufficient proof of identity will be turned away. Neighborhood special zones shall be introduced to help seal some of the parts of the city from malicious activity. Police checkpoints will also be placed in selected target areas where visitors will be required to legitimize their reasons for visits in such areas.
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Legal road blocks are usually effective in crime hot beds against criminals (Nowpublic, n.d.). I am proposing to introduce such legal road blocks that are going to act as check points to frisk motorist for any illegal possessions such as weapons and drugs. Random checks shall also be stepped up in different areas to check the spread of criminal activities that are threatening the social fabric. These will also be useful in curbing infiltration of crime in selected areas.
Researchers have discovered hotspots that could be effective in the fight against crime in certain areas (Ojjdp, n.d.). This follows the finding that even in crime prone areas, there are areas that generate the highest rate of police calls and also high response to crime. These played an important role in assisting me in designing policy and designing the community policing initiatives which I am going to exploit to make the society part and parcel in fighting crime. This will require concerted efforts by the community and my officers among other key stake holders in combating the crime menace.
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With the rise in cases of homicides, violent robberies, rapes and serial killings, there will be a data base of law breakers so as to enable us to truck criminals which will help us increase reliability. Criminal profiling was developed following discovery that serial killers display certain similar characteristics. The criminal behavioral traits at the crime scene helped the investigators to learn much about the characteristics of the offender. Profiling is very effective when a certain criminal is perpetrating repeat crimes in a certain locality. It helps narrow the number of the offenders hence expediting the process of identification. Profiling also aids in reducing the victims as the search for offenders is more specific and directed hence helping to reduce victims of such ordeals. To make this successful we are going to establish and build a comprehensive database to assist us profile the criminals.
Truancy is another phenomenon that is spreading alarmingly in Washington DC. It thus requires urgent measures to control it before it becomes a really serious problem. The worst of it is that it is affecting school children. Statistics reveal that it has soured up to 30% student absentee rates in some cities. Truancy adversely affects everyone from the family, the student and the community. Police sources report that most of those who absent themselves from school are committing crime, which include among others shoplifting, graffiti, and vandalism. A sweep conducted in California for truants on the streets for example reduced shoplifting by 60%. To control this, I will liaise with educational institutions to institute surveillance measures to track the behavior of students and also demand accountability from both the parents and students. Frequent street sweeps also seem to do the trick.
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Southeast and northeast- two of the four boundaries that make up Washington DC.
Security in the Northeast and South east is of paramount importance to the entire security of Washington DC. I will seek to beef up security on these borders through combining this with border surveillance to curb the entry of illegal weapons and drugs. It will also go along way towards detection of the criminals going in or out of Washington DC as the areas act as key transit points to and from Washington.
Riding Washington of crime will require a multi dimensional approach in combating the vice. The policy model developed is backed by scientific study and thus promises to achieve high levels of success when implemented. My efforts will only achieve their expected goals through proper involvement and coordination of all the stakeholders in safety. Community policing is one of the policies that is expected to achieve impressive gains.