Calling for a review of police staff levels and deployment, Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams says the city may need to hire hundreds of officers to meet the twin demands of a growing population and a rising crime rate, the Washington Post reports. He raised the possibility of adding 1,300 officers to return to the past peak of 5,100. Williams, who is leaving office in January, has spoken with Police Chief Charles Ramsey and other officials about designing “a really good, comprehensive review of deployment” so the city can determine “what we need and what citizens want.”
Williams said a comprehensive study might indicate that “we need additional troops out there in order to get 911 and citizen response to where it should be.” Washington is experiencing a spike in street crime, with some criminals targeting the Mall and other areas frequented by tourists. A surge in killings, robberies and armed assaults prompted Ramsey to declare a crime emergency July 11. The D.C. Council has approved emergency legislation to give police $8 million in extra funds so Ramsey can implement a six-day workweek. That will put the equivalent of 300 additional officers on the streets immediately.