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With the FY23 Budget Approved to Hire 347 Officers, Mayor Bowser Awards Best of Metropolitan Police Department

(Washington, DC) – Today, one day after the DC Council approved Mayor Bowser’s budget, which will allow the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to hire 347 officers in Fiscal Year 2023, the Mayor and MPD Chief Robert J. Contee III celebrated officers at MPD’s 22nd Annual Awards Ceremony. The Mayor specifically spoke about the importance of having a police department that represents and reflects the community it serves, which MPD has been able to accomplish by focusing on hiring DC residents and women and, intentionally, ensuring officers learn about DC history and culture. 

“We recognize how important it is to the safety of our community and the success of MPD to keep and attract top talent. These awards are an opportunity to honor the heroic work of our officers and to ensure that they know they are appreciated and valued by Washingtonians in all eight wards,” said Mayor Bowser. “My commitment to the men and women at MPD, and to our community, is that I will keep working to make sure we have a fully staffed and fully resourced Metropolitan Police Department.”

During the ceremony, the Mayor highlighted the MPD Cadet Corps Program, which she has focused on growing during her Administration, to give more DC residents the opportunity to become DC police. In 2016, Mayor Bowser expanded eligibility for the MPD Cadet Corps Program by increasing the maximum age for participating from 21 to 24; the Mayor, again expanded the eligibility this year to allow DC residents who attended high school outside of DC to join. Since coming into office, the Mayor has grown the Cadet Program from 20 cadets in 2015 to 150 cadets in FY22 and FY23. Already this year, MPD has 79 young people participating in the program, including three high school students, and eight young people who have already graduated from the program.

The Mayor also highlighted MPD’s work to hire more women through the 30x30 campaign, a national initiative which aims to increase the representation of women in police department recruit classes to 30% by 2030, and to ensure police policies and culture intentionally support the success of women officers throughout their careers. Nationwide, women make up approximately 12% of sworn police officers and 3% of police leadership. Currently, Washington, DC is ahead of the national average, with women making up 23% of MPD’s sworn officers. Still, the Department remains focused on hiring more women to ensure MPD reflects and represents the community. MPD’s latest recruit class was 52% women – all DC natives – and the current MPD Cadet Corps is 46% women.

The Bowser Administration presented nearly 50 awards to MPD members, federal law enforcement partners, and community partners. Awards included: 

  • Officer of the Year Award
  • Citizen of the Year Award
  • Detective of the Year Award 
  • Professional Staff Member of the Year Award 
  • Police Service Area of the Year Award 
  • School Resource Officer of the Year Award 
  • Chief of Police Special Awards 

The Mayor and MPD were joined at tonight’s awards by federal partners from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division, and local partners to honor and highlight the accomplishments of the sworn and professional staff members of the department in 2021. The Annual Awards Ceremony recognizes members’ extraordinary commitment to MPD’s mission, especially during a time of heightened gun violence and an ongoing pandemic. 

“Despite a busy year and trying time in 2021, our Nation’s Capital is a safer and stronger place because of the men and women of the Metropolitan Police Department,” said Chief Robert J. Contee, III. “Our Annual Awards Ceremony serves as a yearly reminder and celebration of our members’ true commitment to the District and the work we are doing to serve a powerful force for good in our communities.” 

In 2021, MPD recovered over 2,400 firearms, expanded the Cadet Corps Program to include High School Seniors and DC residents who attend high schools outside of the District of Columbia, and announced multiple partnerships with federal and local law enforcement partners to include a “Got Guns?” initiative with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bureau (Washington Field Office), to target illegal firearms in the District. MPD also established the Community Focused Patrol as a supplement to patrol districts deployment in high violent crime areas. 

To view the complete list of award recipients, please visit:

Social Media:
Mayor Bowser Twitter: @MayorBowser
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