Washington, D.C. authorities established a task force six months ago to reduce violence at multiple nightlife centers. According to Axios, violent crime decreased in these areas.
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the launch of the Nightlife Task Force. It was led by the Deputy mayor for Public Safety and Justice and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). This task force will address the busy nightlife corridors on Friday and weekend nights. Axios reported that the task force is made up of police officers, Department of Transportation personnel, fire and emergency service personnel, and alcohol regulators. They patrol nightlife areas near Dupont Circle and U Street NW.
According to an analysis of MPD statistics, violent crime in these areas decreased by at least 50% when the task force was present. However, overall crime in H Street rose by 8%. Sticky Fingers Vegan Diner’s owner Doron Petersan of H Street was recently carjacked. He said that a greater police presence would help improve the area. Car robberies and vandalism caused happy hour and even evening service to decline over the past year.
U Street’s DC9 club owner Bill Spieler claimed he saw less gunfire and ATV activity at the venue, but that the task force’s street closures made it harder for customers to access businesses, Axios reported. Morgan Kane, MPD Assistant Police Chief, said that street closures are determined on a case by case basis. He reported that officers have been considering using the same policing model in other parts of D.C.
According to MPD statistics, homicides and overall violent crimes decreased by approximately 10% and 7% in each district between the previous year and 2022 respectively. Burglaries fell by around 10%, and overall crime dropped by about 4%.