Mayor Bowser Launches Robbery Intervention Task Force
(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Cathy Lanier, Councilmember Charles Allen and public safety officials announced the creation of a Robbery Intervention Task Force.
“We know that a small number of repeat offenders target our neighborhoods and commit robberies” said Mayor Bowser. “This task force will help focus our efforts to find these criminals, prosecute them and get them off our streets.”
The Task Force, comprised of MPD, the Metro Transit Police Department, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), and the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO), will ensure maximum coordination between different parts of the criminal justice system. Their efforts will focus on quickly identifying and responding to patterns of a robbery spree. They will also work together to develop the strongest cases possible to prosecute repeat offenders. The OAG and USAO have assigned prosecutors to ensure that arrests related to such robberies will be prioritized.
"The U.S. Attorney's Office is committed to working with the task force to identify and effectively react to robbery patterns through the coordinated use of criminal intelligence and law enforcement resources," said Richard Tischner, Chief of the Office's Superior Court Division. "When coordinated law enforcement efforts have identified repeat robbery offenders, the U.S. Attorney's Office will mount comprehensive investigations into their criminal histories, locate and review past cases in which they evaded prosecution, and revive previous prosecutions where appropriate."
“Nobody in any neighborhood of our city should feel afraid to walk down the sidewalk at night,” said Attorney General Karl Racine. “We are focused on ensuring that we and our public-safety partners gather robbery evidence and present it in ways that enable successful prosecutions.”
As part of the new effort, MPD has assigned Criminal Research Specialists within MPD’s Crime Information Center to identify robbery patterns in real-time, as they emerge. In addition, MPD has embedded an MPD officer within the Metro Transit Police Department. The officer will quickly identify any crimes where suspects are moving between the Metro and MPD jurisdiction.
“While Metro crime rates remain relatively low overall, we have seen an increase in robbery offenses in recent months," said Metro Transit Police Chief Ronald A. Pavlik. “Metro operates with the philosophy that any crime is one too many, and our partnership in the mayor's Task Force is another step to proactively address the issue and ensure a safe ride for everyone.”
The District experienced a 5% increase in robberies in 2015. However, that number is below the historical average. The city experienced 22% fewer robberies in 2015 than in 2007 – despite the fact that the population grew 12% during that time.