April 17, 2023
Dear Members of Congress,
Independent Women’s Voice, which fights to enhance people’s freedom, opportunities, and well-being, supports H.J. Res. 42, sponsored by Representatives Andrew Clyde and Andrew Garbarino.
This joint resolution nullifies the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act enacted by the District of Columbia City Council in 2020 under the Council’s emergency legislative powers. Since then, the Act has been renewed four times. In an effort to make these changes permanent, this Act was sent to Congress for Congressional review in February of 2023.
The Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act includes a number of problematic provisions that have discouraged proactive policing in D.C. and demoralized those who serve in law enforcement. When officers write up initial reports of an incident, for example, they are prohibited from viewing body-cam footage setting them up for failure. Not surprisingly, officers have left the police force in droves. The D.C. police force is now the smallest it has been in a half-century with officers leaving faster than they can be replaced.
These sweeping changes have emboldened criminals in D.C. and led to a dramatic increase in violent crime in recent years. According to the Metropolitan Police crime data website, homicides have risen 19% over the last year. Sexual abuse crimes are up 100%, motor vehicle theft is up 105%, and property crime is up 27%. In total, crime is up 22%. Over half the residents of D.C. agree crime is an “extremely” or “very” serious problem.
Sadly, this rise in crime has wreaked havoc on many of D.C.’s poorest and most vulnerable neighborhoods. This is unacceptable.
Policing reform is a serious issue that deserves a fair and open debate.
We all want police officers to be held accountable and to a high standard. Yet, the ongoing effort to demonize and hamstring law enforcement has been a catastrophe. To curb the violence, proactive policing must be reinstated, and policies that have undermined it must be rejected.
Thank you, Rep. Clyde and Rep. Garbarino, for opposing the anti-cop narrative and affirming your support for the kind of policing that saves lives. We urge all members of Congress to support this joint resolution.
Hadley Heath Manning
Vice President for Policy
Independent Women’s Voice