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D.C. police to beef up patrols at Metro stations after shooting rampage



D.C. police will soon start patrolling five Metro stations in the District to augment the transit police force that is struggling to protect the region’s vast rail and bus system from rising violent crime, officials announced Wednesday.

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) detailed the initiative a week after police said a gunman went on a shooting rampage at the Potomac Avenue Metro station, killing a 64-year-old rail worker who tried to stop the attack and wounding two others.

The extra patrols will start next week during the morning and evening rush hours at Metro Center, Gallery Place, Georgia Ave.-Petworth, Congress Heights and Union Station. Authorities said those stations were selected based on crime data and could shift with new trends.

Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Anzallo said two D.C. officers and a supervisor would be assigned to each station during the workweek. Officials said the officers will volunteer for the assignment and be paid overtime, funded by Metro. They will remain in the stations and on platforms in the District.

Metro employee killed while trying to stop man shooting at D.C. commuters

Anzallo noted the sprawling public transportation system includes more than 1,500 buses and 97 train stations connected by 128 miles of track spanning the District, Maryland and Virginia. Some stations, such as L’Enfant Plaza, encompass two city blocks and multiple levels. The transit police force has 387 officers, nearly 80 short of a full complement.


“We just do not have enough uniformed presence” on the transit system, Anzallo said at a news conference.

Metro General Manager Randy Clarke said the extra help from D.C. police will allow more transit officers to ride trains and buses, and keep at least one police officer from open to close at stations such as Potomac Avenue, where the killing occurred last week. Clarke said he hopes to work out similar partnerships with police in Maryland and Virginia.

At the start of Wednesday’s announcement, officials held a moment of silence for Robert Cunningham, the Metro mechanic who was shot in the head when he tried to disarm a man police allege opened fire at Potomac Avenue. That man, 31-year-old Isaiah Trotman, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

Bowser called Cunningham a hero, and she also praised Shante Trumpet, a D.C. government worker who grabbed the gun after the assailant boarded a Silver Line train — and after police said he had shot Cunningham.

The mayor said no one should have “to be in a position to wrestle a gun away from anyone while they are going about their day.”

Metro mechanic had gunman in chokehold to protect a commuter, documents say

Violence aboard public transportation in the District has rattled passengers in the Washington region and in other cities, including New York. In January, police said two children and a man were shot while exiting a Metrobus in Northwest Washington after an altercation that began onboard.


Like Metro Transit, D.C. police are struggling to staff their ranks. As of the end of January, D.C. police had 3,364 sworn officers, according to a department spokesman, the lowest count in at least 24 years. That number has dropped steadily since 2020 — when there were nearly 3,800 officers — following a budget cut that froze hiring for about a year.

D.C. police had 4,051 officers in 2008, and Bowser has vowed to continue her push to hire hundreds more officers to reach a force of 4,000, despite reluctance from the D.C. Council, which cut back similar plans in 2022.

On Wednesday, D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III assured residents the overtime initiative will not be “taking officers from communities and redistributing them to Metro stations.”

Source: Washington Post


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