Police Reform Commission Report Highlights the Urgent Need to Fully Implement Councilmember McDuffie’s NEAR Act

Commission’s report identifies areas where the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results Act (NEAR) remains unimplemented and recommends changes to improve public safety

For Immediate Release: Friday, April 1, 2021
Contact: Malcom Fox, 202-227-1701, mfox@dccouncil.us

Washington, DC – Today, the DC Police Reform Commission released its report entitled “Decentering Police to Improve Public Safety. The Commission’s report culminates a year of work following calls for social justice this past summer and recommends that the District undertake sweeping changes to reimagine its approach to public safety. The report also makes it clear that critically important provisions of the NEAR remain unimplemented and underfunded.

“Today’s report reaffirms my concerns that the NEAR Act has yet to be fully implemented and this lack of implementation is a detriment to public safety, said Councilmember McDuffie. “The Commission recommends that the MPD immediately adopts a co-response model with behavioral health professionals to more appropriately respond to mental health crises, reports stop-and-frisk data more consistently, and expands funding for violence interruption programs, all core tenants of the NEAR Act. I want to thank the commissioners for their hard work and comprehensive recommendations.”

Councilmember McDuffie raised his concerns with Police Chief Contee during the recent confirmation hearing that MPD has failed to consistently report their stop data and has yet to implement the behavioral health co-response model as statutorily required, despite the fact that the Mayor’s SaferStronger website claims the NEAR Act has been fully implemented. Only $10 million dollars were allocated to the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE) in FY21 – a small amount compared to the $500 million allocated to MPD. Councilmember McDuffie will continue to call for full implementation of the NEAR Act and increased resources for violence interruption programs that residents across the District have demanded.

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