District of Columbia Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser wants to hire more police, only months after her government slashed the budget and hundreds of officers retired amid a tidal change in sentiment toward police – and that could collectively complicate her plan, former Metropolitan Police Department homicide Det. Ted Williams told Fox News on Thursday.
The council, chaired by Councilman Phil Mendelson, is comprised of 11 Democrats and 2 Independents.
"It's going to be interesting to see how they get back to [an] even [force]," Williams said. "I can tell you the mayor has seen the light in recent weeks here. We had a shooting outside of the major metropolitan baseball stadium, and a shooting in broad daylight on 14th street NW in the District of Columbia. We had a 6-year-old child shot and killed in the District.
"As a result of that, the mayor wants to add 170 police officers to the police force. The big question is, is it going to go forward?"
Williams said the District of Columbia defunded the Metropolitan Police Department to the tune of $25 million, wondering aloud whether the city council will agree to her plan.
Even if the council agrees with Bowser, Williams said the damage may already have been done, especially since police in the District and across the country have been widely demonized.
"Who wants to be a police officer in the District of Columbia when police officers are so put under a microscope these days?" he asked.
Williams added that MPD Chief Robert Contee III struck the right tone last week when he railed against so-called criminal justice reform laws that have helped perpetrators get out of jail or receive a lesser-than-normal punishment to infract again.
"It's demoralizing to good police officers that go out here, put their lives on the line and to good work by arresting a person and before the paperwork is finished, the person is back on the street," he said.
"So you've got to get the judges and the prosecutors also to work with law enforcement officers to be successful or get rid of these thugs in these communities."