violence interrupters

DC Expands Violence Interrupters Program Into New Neighborhoods

NBC Universal, Inc. As the number of homicides in the District continues to rise, D.C.’s attorney general is expanding a program aimed at reducing violence. News4’s Mark Segraves reports on the effort.

As the number of homicides in the District continues to rise, D.C.'s attorney general is expanding a program aimed at reducing violence.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Robert Contee have said they’re doing all they can to curb the violence, and now the Attorney General Karl Racine is expanding the use of violence interrupters, who try to head off violence.

“They identify the most likely victims of gun violence as well as those who might, in fact, shoot people,” Racine said.

The Attorney General’s Office has violence interrupters in six neighborhoods and will expand to four more:

  • Congress Heights
  • Brightwood Park/Petworth
  • Sursum Corda/Ivy City
  • Anacostia/Fairlawn

“We pick the sites because they have historic violence, gun violence in particular,” Racine said.

Contee supports having more violence interrupters but questions how to measure violence interrupters’ success.

“We have that same argument we talk about, you know, the number of police or police visibility,” he said. “How do you know how many shootings don't happen because the police are nearby or because the police arrested a person? So I think it's a hard thing to measure.”

“I can point to over 100 days of no shootings in the Highland area where we operated last year,” Racine said. “There’s not been a time period in that area prior to our being there where there was 100 days with no shootings.”