From Councilmember Trayon White, Sr. <[email protected]>
Subject Councilmember Trayon White Creates Balance In Secure DC Omnibus Bill with New Amendments
Date March 6, 2024 1:16 AM
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For Immediate Release

March 5, 2024


Julia Jessie 202.724.8045

[email protected] (mailto:[email protected])

Councilmember Trayon White Creates Balance In Secure DC Omnibus Bill with New Amendments

(Washington, DC) — March 5, 2024 - Councilmember Trayon White celebrates the successful passage of two critical amendments to the Secure DC Omnibus bill, marking a significant stride towards transparency and community safety in the District.

Amendment #1: Enhancing Transparency in Adverse Action Hearings: Councilmember White's first amendment, part of B25-345, the Secure DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2024, focuses on enhancing transparency in adverse action hearings. This amendment mandates the retention of an officer's name and badge number in adverse action hearing announcements.

Councilmember White underscores the importance of transparency in cases of alleged officer misconduct, stating, “I firmly believe in transparency and accountability within law enforcement. Police officers are sworn officers entrusted with public safety, and as such, the public has the right to know when wrongdoing occurs. Concealing the identities of officers involved in misconduct undermines this trust. This amendment is to ensure we do not roll back transparency and advocates for a balanced and transparent approach to sharing information about our officers, particularly when considering disciplinary actions and those who are reccomended for termination. It is imperative for the public to be informed about such serious matters, such as accusations of stalking, mishandling of evidence, DUI, and negligent discharge of a firearm.We must highlight the gravity of these offenses and emphasizing our commitment to accountability and maintaining public trust in law enforcement."

Amendment #2: Development of Comprehensive Public Safety Plan: This provision to the Secure DC Omnibus Act, calls for the development and publication of a Comprehensive Public Safety Plan by the Executive Office.

Councilmember White stresses the necessity of this plan, explaining, "Our city has faced escalating challenges with crime, exacerbated by our failure to address the issue effectively. Despite numerous press conferences and discussions among various agencies and great recommendations, a cohesive, city-wide strategy has yet to materialize. To truly confront the issue of public safety, we must adopt a holistic approach. Therefore, this amendment mandates the Executive Office of the Mayor to develop and publicize a comprehensive safety plan, integrating all available information and recommendations into a unified strategy for our city."

Councilmember White voted “present” on the final reading of the bill because a critical amendment he introduced to require wrap around services within drug-free zones did not pass. Councilmember White states the following:

"Today, I voted 'present' on the Secure DC bill, particularly concerning the provision regarding drug-free zones. I proposed an amendment to involve agencies such as the Department of Employment Services, Department of Behavioral Health, and a list of other government agencies, to provide wrap around services to individuals in drug-free zones. Unfortunately, it was not accepted. My concern lies in ensuring that we provide resources and support to those struggling with addiction and other issues, rather than solely relying on punitive measures. I have hosted a summer initiative called, “Resources to Block” for the last seven years in communities that have been neglected with resources. I know the effectiveness of reaching out to those who may not traditionally seek help from government resources and how beneficial this has been in curbing the appetite for crime, poverty, addiction, housing instability and more.

While I acknowledge drugs are prevalent in some areas in our city, simply designating drug-free zones does not address the underlying issues driving substance abuse. Moreover, the disproportionate impact of such measures on black communities cannot be ignored. We need a comprehensive approach that involves all relevant government agencies, not just law enforcement, in crafting effective solutions.

This bill is just one piece of the puzzle in addressing public safety. We must focus on prevention, including providing support to families, access to education and employment opportunities, and fostering a sense of community. We cannot continue to overlook the root causes of crime and expect meaningful change. It's time to come together as a community and enact solutions that truly make a difference in people's lives.

I want people to be held accountable but with a real plan to address public safety.”


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