The Washington, DC chapter of Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to the death of Linda Harllee Harper, the Director for the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement and the Office of Gun Violence Prevention in Washington, DC. In 2021, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser appointed her as the first director of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, a new agency charged with coordinating the city’s efforts to reduce violence. Earlier this year, Mayor Bowser also appointed her to be the Director of the city’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement.
“Director Harllee Harper dedicated her life to public service and was committed to improving the lives of young people and making Washington, DC a safer and more equitable city,” said the Washington, DC chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Her work will continue to have positive impacts for generations to come, and we appreciated her kind spirit and desire to work towards solutions that would create more opportunities for our kids and make the city safer. We offer our sincerest condolences to her husband and son, her family and friends, and the incredibly close-knit team at the Office of Gun Violence Prevention.”
While there is no one solution to end gun violence, Community Violence Intervention Programs play a key role in making cities safer. By utilizing a public health model, community-led programs have been shown to reduce gun violence in some of the most heavily impacted neighborhoods.