The D.C. Police Reform Commission released a report Thursday recommending downsizing the D.C. police force, taking police out of public schools, and putting more money toward preventing crime and increasing mental health support.
The commission, which was created in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by police and the protests that followed, acknowledge it doesn’t have an answer as to how many officers is the right amount.
“We don’t have the exact number that should be,” commission Co-Chair Christy Davis said. “We do think there can be a reduction; we recommend that reduction be at the rate of attrition for the moment and while that’s happening there is an independent assessment.”
The commission also recommends taking officers out of schools.
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“We currently have a ratio of one security officer for every 165 students, however, we have one social worker for every 254 students, one psychologist for every 529 students,” commission member Samantha Davis said.
The commission also recommended D.C. police stop using two controversial units: the gun recovery unit and the crime suppression unit commonly known as jump out squads.
The fact is that some of the aggressive tactics being used to hunt guns and drugs are making us less safe,” commission member Patrice Sulton said. “Some of these tactics are inflicting trauma and thereby causing more crime.”
The D.C. Council has scheduled public hearings on some of the recommendations, and Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration said it will engage with the Council and the public as it decides which, if any, recommendations to implement.
"The one thing that is clear in the 259 pages of the report is that the commission is clearly on a mission to defund police in the District," the D.C. police union said in a press release.