After another pair of shootings last week, one that resulted in a death and one in a life-threatening injury, Mayor Justin Wilson said the multi-pronged response includes more police officers in Alexandria.
In his monthly newsletter, Wilson said the uptick in violence in Alexandria is disturbing.
“This spate of violence is a continuation of a disturbing uptick in violent crime that has been plaguing our City and our region,” Wilson wrote.
Last year, Part 1 crimes — the most serious crimes like homicides, rape, robbery and more — increased by 4.7%, primarily driven by upticks in robberies, larcenies and auto theft.
According to Wilson:
So far in 2023, our Part 1 crime trends are deeply concerning:
- Robberies are up 49%
- Burglaries are up 17%
- Stolen automobiles are up 69%
- Larcenies are up 21%
- Aggravated assaults are up 53%
Overall Part 1 crime has increased nearly 28% from this period last year.
While Alexandria remains a safe community, this cycle of violence must be ended to maintain our quality of life. That requires that we prevent crime where possible and ensure that those committing violence in our community face justice.
Wilson said there are multiple approaches to addressing the uptick in violent crime, including boosting police staffing and combatting attrition in the Alexandria Police Department. Alexndria gained 18 new police officers and 15 new sheriff’s deputies earlier this year, which Wilson said is one of the largest classes Alexandria’s put through the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy in recent years, but the department has said last year that short-staffing has required it to reduce its community services.
According to Wilson, the city’s approach needs to include:
- Restoring Police Staffing/Reducing Attrition
- Expanding “upstream” investments (family supports, mental/behavioral health, housing, re-entry programs, etc) proven to reduce violence
- Expanding community policing
- Continue advocacy for new laws in Washington and Richmond to slow the flow of dangerous firearms into our community
“Coupled with new investments in preventative (upstream) investments, we can buck national and regional trends and reduce violence and property crimes in our City,” Wilson said.
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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).
ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.
This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.
If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!
In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!
We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.
Mark your calendars and join us for the Family Fun Fall Fest on Saturday, October 7, 2023, from 11am – 2pm!
This FREE in-person event will be held at the Shoppes at Foxchase, located at 4641 Duke St, Alexandria, VA