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Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice

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Cluster Agencies

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice (DMPSJ) provides direction, guidance, support, and coordination to the District’s public safety agencies to develop and lead interagency public safety initiatives to improve the quality of life in the District’s neighborhoods.

DMPSJ oversees the following District agencies:

Department of Corrections (DOC)
Director: Tom Faust

DOC provides a safe, secure, orderly, and humane environment for the confinement of pretrial detainees and sentenced inmates while affording those in custody meaningful rehabilitative opportunities that will assist them to constructively re-integrate into the community.

Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS)
Interim Director: Dr. Francisco Diaz

The Department’s mission is to provide “high-quality, timely, accurate, and reliable forensic science services... [using] best practices and best available technology; a focus on unbiased science and transparency; and the goal of enhancing public safety." DFS consists of the Forensic Science Laboratory Division, the Public Health Laboratory Division, and the Crime Scene Sciences Division.

DFS provides science services upon request to District agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Department, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Health, the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and other law enforcement or investigative agencies.

Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS)
Director: Sam Abed

The Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) is responsible for the supervision, custody, and care of young people charged with a delinquent act in the District of Columbia in one of the following circumstances:

  • Youth who are detained in a DYRS facility while awaiting adjudication.
  • Youth who are committed to DYRS by a DC Family Court judge following adjudication.

Youth can be initially committed to the agency until the age of 18 and may remain in the care of DYRS until the age of 21. The agency provides comprehensive support services to committed youth in our secure facilities as well as within the community. DYRS is designed to help young people get on the right track and successfully transition into adulthood. DYRS works with fellow District agencies, community partners, and juvenile justice experts to achieve these goals. We collaborate to implement innovative, research-based models that align with best practices in the juvenile justice and youth development fields.

Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS)
Fire Chief: John Donnelly

The mission of the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department is to preserve life and promote health and safety through excellent pre-hospital treatment and transportation, fire prevention, fire suppression and rescue activities, and homeland security awareness.

Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA)
Acting Director: Clint Osborn

HSEMA leads the planning and coordination of homeland security and emergency management efforts to ensure that the District of Columbia is prepared to prevent, protect against, respond to, mitigate, and recover from all threats and hazards.

Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizens Affairs (MORCA)
Director: Lamont Carey

On behalf of the Mayor, MORCA serves as the District of Columbia’s coordinating and advisory agency for reentry. MORCA seeks to remove barriers to reentry and empowers residents to break the cycle of recidivism. Through MORCA case management program MORCA ensures that previously incarcerated people are connected to essential programs and services in areas such as employment, health, education, housing assistance, and social services.

The Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizens Affairs (MORCA) opened its doors in 2007 as the first legislatively-mandated office in the country specifically serving formerly incarcerated individuals. MORCA serves as the principal contact point for returning citizens by removing barriers to reentry and empowering residents to connect to services for employment, health, education, housing assistance, and family needs. Over the years, MORCA has grown to provide case management services, family unification engagements, prison outreach, and critical vital records assistance.

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)
Police Chief: Pamela Smith 

One of the 10 largest local police agencies in the United States, MPD is the primary law enforcement agency for the District of Columbia. MPD is at the forefront of technological crime-fighting advances, from highly developed advances in evidence analysis to state-of the-art-information technology. These modern techniques are combined with a contemporary community policing philosophy, referred to as Customized Community Policing. Community policing bonds the police and residents in a working partnership designed to organize and mobilize residents, merchants, and professionals to improve the quality of life for all who live, work, and visit the nation's capital.

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME)
Chief Medical Examiner: Dr. Francisco Diaz

The mission of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) is to investigate all deaths in the District of Columbia that occur as the result of violence (injury), as well as those that occur unexpectedly, without medical attention, in custody or pose a threat to public health.

OCME provides forensic services to government agencies, health care providers, and citizens in the Washington, DC metropolitan area to ensure that justice is served and to improve the health and safety of the public.

Office of Human Rights (OHR)
Interim Director: Kenneth Saunders 

The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) works to eradicate discrimination, increase equal opportunity, and protect the human rights of individuals who live in, work in, or visit the District of Columbia. The agency enforces local and federal civil rights laws by providing a cost-free legal process to those who believe they have experienced discrimination. The local laws OHR enforces include the DC Human Rights Act of 1977, DC Family & Medical Leave Act of 1990, Parental Leave Act of 1994, Language Access Act of 2004, Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2012, Unemployed Anti-Discrimination Act of 2012, Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act of 2014, Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2014, Fair Credit in Employment Act of 2016, Fair Criminal Record Screening for Housing Act of 2016, and the Street Harassment Prevention Act of 2018. OHR also proactively seeks to end discrimination in the District through educational campaigns and initiatives, and by identifying and investigating practices that may be discriminatory. The agency oversees the Language Access Program, Citywide Youth Bullying Prevention Program, Street Harassment Prevention Program, and a Returning Citizens Initiative.

Office of Unified Communications (OUC)
Director: Heather McGaffin

The mission of the Office of Unified Communications (OUC) is to provide a fast, professional, and cost-effective response to emergency and non-emergency calls in the District. Created in fiscal year 2005, the OUC consolidates the emergency 911 non-emergency and 311 call activities from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPDC), Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS), and customer service operations.

Office of Victims Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG)
Director: Jennifer Porter 

OVSJG’s mission is to lead, coordinate, and fund programs in the District that serve crime victims, prevent crime, and improve the administration of justice for victims and offenders. OVSJG also provides policy-making expertise, advice, and counsel to the Executive on the role of victims and offenders in the criminal justice system, and evidence-based practices to respond to, intervene in, and prevent violence. OVSJG is also responsible for overseeing the programmatic strategies and coordinating grant-making efforts for victim service and justice grants programs as well as the Access Justice Initiative in order to ensure the coordinated programmatic and grant-making efforts of those offices.

Safer Stronger DC Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE) 
Interim Director: Kwelli Sneed

As part of Mayor Bowser's Fiscal Year 2018 Budget to consolidate the work being done by the Safer Stronger DC Community Partnerships Office and the Community Stabilization Program, the mission of the ONSE office is to coordinate community-oriented, public health approaches to violence prevention that will recognize that reducing crime is not accomplished solely through law enforcement. The office will correlate the District's overall violence prevention program; identify, recruit, and engage individuals determined to be at high risk of participating in or becoming a victim of violent crime; collaborate with DC agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide immediate wrap-around services to victims and families affected by violent crime; identify priority neighborhood and Police Service Areas with high trends of violent crime and connect residents to services through a streamlined approach; develop positive relationships with youth and young adults using recreational and positive behavior reinforcement activities; and coordinate with DC agencies and community-based organizations to develop a program that focuses on employment and job training opportunities.