(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Chief Robert J. Contee, III of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and Office of Unified Communications (OUC) Director Karima Holmes highlighted steps the District is taking to ensure a safe, happy holiday season. This year’s strategy includes deploying more than 100 recruit officers and cadets from the MPD Academy to assist, via foot patrol, in business corridors across the city. This initiative will increase MPD’s presence is busy corridors and provide opportunities for cadets and recruits to engage with the community during the holiday season.
“We want residents to have a safe and joyful holiday season. This deployment also gives our cadets another opportunity to engage directly with businesses and residents and understand how MPD can support the community,” said Mayor Bowser. “We also want residents to know that no matter what comes up, we have people in our city ready to help. If you need assistance, if you witness something suspicious, or if you’re concerned about a mental health crisis – for yourself or someone else – help is just a phone call away.”
Last month, the Mayor and MPD also highlighted strategies and resources that residents should use to reduce the risk of package theft during the holiday season. Today, in addition to announcing the deployment of additional recruit officers and cadets, MPD also encouraged residents and visitors to practice the following safety tips:
- Park in a well-lighted space, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.
- When ordering a package to be delivered, track your deliveries, and confirm the delivery has occurred.
- Switch your delivery location to your work, or to lockers, such as an Amazon Hub Locker.
- Use the Safe Exchange Zones at any Metropolitan Police Department District Station when using third-party sellers such as Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, etc.
- Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
- Call 911 for assistance from the Metropolitan Police Department if you see or suspect something out of the ordinary.
Residents, visitors, and businesses can see more safety tips by visiting the MPD website: mpdc.dc.gov/page/winter-holiday-safety-tips.
“The holiday season is a busy, chaotic, yet joyful time for many residents in Washington, DC,” said Chief Contee. “With holidays comes shopping, traveling, and enjoying valuable time with our family and friends. The Metropolitan Police Department’s top priority is to ensure that every resident and visitor of this city gets to enjoy the excitement of the holiday season safely with their loved ones.”
OUC Director Karima Holmes was also at today’s event to remind District residents and visitors that there are three phone numbers to access help: 911, 311, and 988.
- Call 311 to report police non-emergencies like vandalism, disabled vehicles, or loud music.
- Call 911 if you see suspicious activity, crimes in progress, or experience a medical emergency. Residents can also text 911 for help.
- Call 988 if confidential support is needed for you or someone else is having a mental health emergency or in suicidal crisis.
“As we approach the holiday season and as always, OUC is ready and prepared to answer the call to help keep District residents and visitors safe,” said Director Holmes. “We recognize that first, first responders at DC911/311 are the literal lifeline to residents and visitors and we take that role very seriously.”
The MPD Cadet Corps program allows DC residents who are either a high school senior or between the ages of 17 and 24 to serve part-time as uniformed, civilian employees. Cadets earn a salary, starting at $35,637, while also taking college courses, and earn up to 60 tuition free credits toward a degree at the University of the District of Columbia Community College. Cadets spend part of their time working specific job assignments for MPD while also working toward their degree. The members are put on a track to enter into MPD’s Police Officer Recruit Program at the Metropolitan Police Academy. The program helps cadets develop the leadership and skills required to meet the challenges of their complex roles as problem-solvers, service providers, and professionals in the criminal justice system. For more information on the Cadet Corps program or to apply, please contact Dr. Deidre Magee at [email protected], call (202) 645-0445, or visit joinmpd.dc.gov.