Councilmember Grosso is deeply concerned that we are not doing enough to prevent the militarization of law enforcement in the District of Columbia. To that end, he sent two letters to Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham last month asking him about two separate programs.
The first letter asked Chief Newsham to reject changes made by the Trump administration to Obama era guidelines that placed critical safeguards on the transfer of military-grade equipment to local law enforcement agencies under the 1033 Program. Councilmember Grosso believes that continuous improvement of police-community relations requires both good practices and projecting the right image. A militarized police force is not the right one for our city.
The second letter expressed Councilmember Grosso's concerns over the planned participation an MPD leader in a training with military forces and intelligence services in Israel. While he believes strongly in cross-cultural exchanges and the importance of training for our law enforcement officers, learning from military advisors is not what local law enforcement needs.
Chief Newsham responded to both of Councilmember Grosso's letters. His responses, and Councilmember Grosso's original letters, can be found below.