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Muriel Bowser

Muriel Elizabeth Bowser (born August 2, 1972) is an American politician serving as the eighth Mayor of the District of Columbia since 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously represented Ward 4 as a member of the Council of the District of Columbia from 2007 to 2015. She is the second female Mayor of the District of Columbia after Sharon Pratt, and the first woman to be reelected to that position.

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D.C. police chief: ‘Community Engagement Policing’ will address hate crimes

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A ‘Focused Patrol and Community Engagement Policing Strategy’ announced last week by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee to combat the rising incidents of violent crime in the city will have a positive impact in addressing hate crimes targeting the LGBTQ community, according to Contee.

Bowser and Contee provided details of what they said is an expanded version of the existing community engagement policies in place for D.C.

police officers at an April 27 news conference. In response to a question from the Washington Blade asking if the expanded community engagement strategy would help police investigate and prevent hate crimes, including those targeting the LGBTQ community, Contee said a key to investigating hate crimes is building a relationship of trust between the police and members of the community who are at risk of becoming victims of a hate crime. “So, one thing it might very well do is strengthen that relationship,” Contee said. “And so, with that you can see an actual increase in the reporting because people are more comfortable having those conversations with our police officers,” he said.

He was referring to the belief by police officials and community activists that many hate crimes in D.C. and other locations go unreported because victims, especially LGBTQ victims, are often reluctant to call police or other law enforcement agencies.

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