May 10, 2017

DC police squad concentrating on drug distributors, not users, reduces city's violent crime

Washington Post - A D.C. police squad formed two years ago to target drug distributors seized more guns in the first four months of this year than it did in all of 2016, which authorities say has helped achieve a sharp reduction in violent crime.

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and Police Chief Peter Newsham singled out the Narcotics Enforcement Unit on Wednesday ahead of the summer months, when crime has traditionally increased in the city.

Homicides have remained steady in the District this year compared to last — tied at 40 — but robberies, sex assaults and assaults with weapons are all down this year, leading to a 25 percent decrease in violent crime overall.

“The goal of this unit was to focus on the illegal drugs in our community, and not on the users,” Newsham said during a news conference at police headquarters.

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