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Gray Public Safety Final

Gray Public Safety Final

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Published by mdebonis
Vincent Gray public safety plan
Vincent Gray public safety plan

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Published by: mdebonis on Sep 03, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Vince Gray knows that you can’t talk about giving our kids a world-classeducation or attracting businesses and creating jobs, without discussing theimperative of creating safe communities. The first responsibility of government is to ensure the safety and well-beingof the people it serves. Vince Gray knows that Washingtonians have publicsafety services that are not on par with the surrounding jurisdictions or thenation as a whole. The quality of public safety services varies by ward andneighborhood – even by street. Too many children and families are beingvictimized by violent crime for no other reason than they live in a dangerousneighborhood.While we have made some progress in the past 10 years in some areas of public safety, progress in other areas has remained stagnant or hasatrophied. We can – and should – do more to make our city safer and betterprepared to handle emergencies when they arise. Vince Gray knows thatuntil our law enforcement officers start getting the support they need fromthe Mayor’s office, their jobs will continue to be that much harder and moredangerous than they should be, and too many people will be victimized bycrime. And he also understands that until we start doing more to deal withthe root causes of crime on the frontend, we’ll never end this vicious circle of violence.Vince Gray isn’t interested in platitudes or stale, worn-out approaches tothese matters. He will employ well-defined strategies that center oncommunity involvement, sustainability, focused leadership, respect,proactive and proper resourcing, and consistent execution. He will repairdamaged relationships with our front-line public safety workers. He willharness the energy of community activism. He will establish focusedleadership in public safety, give this critical issue a real voice, and educateall on this vision.
Similar to all areas of government, a significant challenge for these initiativesinvolves proper funding for sustainable strategies. A Gray Administration willeffectuate changes that leverage available funding resources such as grants andfederal partnerships and hold agency directors accountable to stay within budget. The absence of high-level public safety leadership has allowed certain agencies toengage in unchecked overspending. Throughout the Fenty Administration,overspending within FEMS overtime alone has regularly exceeded $7 million peryear. Seizing control of this rampant overspending will serve as a source of fundingfor sustainable improvement strategies.
Vince Gray’s plan for public safety is based on five core principles gearedtoward making sure that people
safe – and
safe – regardless of where they live, work, or play.
We must restore coordination and accountability in theDistrict’s public safety efforts.
With all of the different federal andcity agencies involved in the District’s public safety efforts, we need asingle point person to help coordinate all of their efforts. Byreestablishing the position of Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, the District will have a single, senior point of coordination andaccountability for the multitude of city services that must worktogether to ensure the public’s safety and sense of safety.
We must end youth violence and reduce juvenile crime.
It’stime we overhaul our hugely dysfunctional juvenile justice andrehabilitation system so that the city’s youths are less likely to engagein criminal activity and more likely to receive the treatment and wrap-around services they need if they do come in contact with the juvenile justice system.
We must make sure that we bring strategic change to theMetropolitan Police Department.
It’s time the District stoppedpaying lip service to the concept of community policing, and tookconcrete steps to build permanent working relationships with policeofficers and the communities they serve. We need to make theMetropolitan Police Department (MPD) the agency it should be, througha variety of initiatives that will improve crime-fighting strategies,attract high-caliber candidates, reward hard-working officers, andimprove retention.
We must crack down on violent offenders, while creating realopportunities for rehabilitation.
Vince knows that too many of thecriminals we see in the criminal justice system have been arrestedbefore. Recidivism is as much a symptom of the failure of ourrehabilitation and re-entry systems as it is a function of a system thatfails to produce a certainty of punishment. As Mayor, Vince Gray willexplore ways to toughen our criminal code so that people know thatthey’ll spend hard time in prison if they’re convicted of violent crimes.He will also work to improve our offender re-entry system so thatpeople who are coming back into society after being incarceratedstand a better chance at successfully reintegrating themselves withcivil society. Returning citizens want and need jobs and we shouldhelp them achieve that goal.
We must reinvigorate stalled reform of our emergency medical
Keeping our Citizens and Communities SafeVince Gray’s Plan for Public Safety in the Nation’s Capital, Page 2
services system, and ensure world-class agency operations.
Efforts to improve delivery of emergency medical services wereinitiated after the 2007 release of Task Force recommendations, butseveral recommendations continue to lag and reform efforts have beenstalled. As several recent public failures illustrate, we must commit toreform of EMS service delivery in order to ensure world-class pre-hospital care. The current administration has stalled these efforts.Vince Gray will ensure that continuous improvement of these servicesbecomes a reality.
 There are a lot of moving pieces in the District’s public safety and justicesystem. In addition to the Metropolitan Police Department, over 30 legallyconstituted police forces operate in the city. The federal governmentoversees major components of the District’s justice system, including thecity’s courts, the prosecutor’s office, the Bureau of Prisons, Court SocialServices, and the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, which isresponsible for adult offender supervision. The District of Columbia isresponsible for the D.C. Jail, which houses offenders with sentences of lessthan one year, and the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS),which serves committed youth. Other District public safety agencies includethe Fire and EMS Department, the Homeland Security and EmergencyManagement Agency, and the Office of Unified Communications. This is adifficult landscape in which to ensure service delivery and effect change.Planning, communication, and cooperation among these entities have provensorely inadequate.For four years, there has been no single, senior point of authority oraccountability in the District Government for ensuring that public safetyservices and initiatives are planned and delivered in a coordinated fashion.And too often, our public safety agencies lack transparency and soundmanagement, which leaves District residents without sufficient informationto have real trust in the system. Without coordination and accountability,fingers get pointed, excuses get made, and the public suffers. Vince Graywill restore that coordination and accountability by appointing a DeputyMayor for Public Safety and Justice, thus reestablishing the this importantrole. The Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice will bring focus to combatingcrime and increasing the public’s safety and wellbeing. The Deputy Mayorwill coordinate all of the District’s public safety agencies; developcomprehensive public safety objectives; establish collaborative relationshipswith partner public safety agencies, neighboring jurisdictions, community
Keeping our Citizens and Communities SafeVince Gray’s Plan for Public Safety in the Nation’s Capital, Page 3

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