WASHINGTON (7News) — Is it a way to get the community more involved with a growing problem in the city or is the mayor simply running out of solutions?
Just days after two 12-year-old boys were arrested for separate crime sprees in D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser held a Public Safety Summit and one possibility included adding cops on the streets.
The summit was held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. You can watch it here or below:
SEE ALSO | 12-year-old boy charged with 6 carjackings, 3 robbery offenses: Police
D.C.’s crime rate is up 26% this year compared to a year ago. Violent crime rose 9% during the same period, including an 18% increase in homicides.
The mayor said she is especially concerned about the violent crimes committed by juveniles. Random shootings, robberies, and carjackings have become trends.
SEE ALSO | 17-year-old arrested for attempting to carjack 2 DC rideshare drivers at gunpoint
“The mayor rightly understands she can not solve the safety issue. The police can not solve the safety issue. Solving the safety issue first and foremost is going to take community engagement, residents, Mary and Joe Smith, it takes all of us,” said Terry Lynch, Executive Director of the Downtown Cluster of Congregations.
The Public Safety Summit will be held at the District Emergency Operations Center on Half Street in Southeast D.C. near Nationals Park.
This is not far from where a pair of teenage girls, 13 and 15 years old carjacked Uber Eats driver Mohammed Anwar, killing him, less than two years ago. And since then, youth crime in the city has only gotten worse.
WATCH: The latest from the summit at noon:
Bowser said she wants to get input from the public.
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Some residents want to see minors prosecuted as adults, saying juvenile detention centers and house arrest are no longer effective.
“More than just a gripe session, more than just a venting session, we need to hear about possible solutions. And as we all know, it’s going to take a thousand pieces to solve this puzzle but we’ve got to move. Car thefts are up 100%, homicides are up over 10% after we had them down last year by 10%,” said Lynch.
Currently, the Metropolitan Police Department has 3,350 police officers. Outgoing Chief Robert Contee said another 200 officers plan to leave by the end of next year.
To kick off the summit, Contee will provide an overview of the state of crime and crime trends in the District, and Acting Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Lindsey Appiah will share insight into the public safety and justice ecosystem. Attendees will participate in breakout groups to address public safety topics.
These sessions, facilitated by District public safety officials, are designed to gather feedback and develop solutions to combat juvenile and adult crime. District Attorney General Brian Schwalb, U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves, and others will also lead a panel discussion regarding the current state of the District’s public safety ecosystem.