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Mayor Bowser Recognizes National Gun Violence Awareness Day in Washington, DC

Friday, June 2, 2017

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser recognized National Gun Violence Awareness Day at Diamond Teague Park. During the event, the Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) installed an osprey nest on the roof of the Monique Johnson Anacostia River Center. Young people in the ‘Guns to Roses’ Program, a collaborative partnership between ECC and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), created the osprey nest from dismantled components of illegal firearms seized by MPD.

“This year alone, 896 guns have been taken off the streets by the Metropolitan Police Department, but there is still much more work to do. In order to build a safer, stronger DC, we must work together to get illegal firearms out of our communities,” said Mayor Bowser. “Residents with information about any crime or who would like to report an illegal firearm should call (202) 727-9099 or text an anonymous tip to 50411.”

The goal of the Guns to Roses Program is to provide at-risk District youth with the fundamental metalworking skills necessary for entry-level employment in the construction industry, while also encouraging positive youth development. The program was originally developed by the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services to give young people who were involved in the juvenile justice system due to gun crimes the opportunity to turn confiscated and decommissioned weapons into sculptures.

ECC is a nonprofit environmental action program whose mission is to inspire at-risk youth and young adults to transform their lives by restoring the Anacostia River. They partner with the Environmental Protection Agency, the District Department of Energy and the Environment, and the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services to equip young people with leadership skills and an environmental education and to set them on a path to a career in nature or science. Diamond Teague Park is named in honor of Diamond Teague, who was shot and killed on October 3, 2003 while standing on his family’s front porch in Southeast DC. When he was killed, Teague was only 19 years-old and was preparing to go to college using the AmeriCorps scholarship he had been awarded for successfully completing seven months of service in the ECC program.

Through the District’s Gun Amnesty Program, any person or organization within Washington, DC can voluntarily turn in any firearm, destructive device, or ammunition to MPD. Items can be turned in at any police district, station, or central headquarters, or by summoning a police officer to a residence or place of business. In addition, MPD offers a reward of up to $2,500 for tips that lead to the recovery of an illegal firearm. Through the Firearm Tip Reward Program, residents can call (202) 727-9099 at any time to report the location of an illegal firearm. The entire process is anonymous and calls are not traced. More information can be found at mpdc.dc.gov or by calling the Command Information Center at (202) 727-9099.

Since coming into office, Mayor Bowser’s top priority has been to ensure the safety of all DC residents. In the first two years of the Bowser Administration, Washington, DC saw decreases in homicides, robberies, and assaults with dangerous weapons. Last month, Mayor Bowser highlighted MPD’s Narcotics Enforcement Unit for their success in getting unregistered guns off the streets.