(Washington, DC) – Today Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced that funding is now in place for 300 new police officers, fulfilling a promise he made earlier this year during the budget cycle. The funding for new officers begins at the start of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2011, and the Metropolitan Police Department is ready to train its first class of 35 new recruits on October 4, 2011.
“Public safety is one of the top priorities of my administration, and this is a substantial step in rebuilding the size of the police force to better serve the citizens of the District of Columbia,” said Mayor Gray. “The 300 new officers will add to our dedicated law-enforcement personnel who are already serving in the Metropolitan Police Department.”
The new recruit training classes will be held monthly at the Metropolitan Police Academy and will consist of 25 to 35 recruits until the goal of 300 newly trained officers is reached. The training will last 6 months.
“The hiring of these new officers will permit us to fill positions vacated due to retirements and other departures while also adding 120 new officers to get the size of the police force up to 3,900 sworn officers by the end of the 2012 fiscal year,” further stated the Mayor.
Mayor Gray expressed appreciation to members of the DC Council who supported his efforts to achieve this public-safety goal. In particular, he commended the Chairperson of the Judiciary Committee, Councilmember Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), for his leadership and stewardship for this most important effort.
The Mayor also applauded MPD and Chief Lanier for the progress made in reducing crime. Violent crime is down significantly in the District of Columbia including homicides, which are more than 10 percent below the same time period for last year.