The very place where lawmakers shape our nation's future is now under the shadow of escalating crime.
In a concerning development, the Senate has issued a warning to its members and Capitol Hill staff about the increasing crime rates in Washington D.C., especially after a series of violent incidents targeting them.
The Senate's Sergeant-at-Arms recently sent out a bulletin to various Senate staff members. This bulletin highlighted the growing number of carjackings in and around Capitol Hill.
To combat this, they provided several safety tips. These included always locking car doors, not stopping to help strangers on the road, and calling the police if someone seems to be in distress.
The urgency of this bulletin was underscored by recent events. Just a day before its release, a Senate staff member faced a terrifying robbery at gunpoint.
This incident was not isolated. Over the past few months, multiple lawmakers and their staff have been victims of violent crimes in D.C, Fox News reported.
A staffer for Republican Senator Katie Britt was one such victim. Amanda Peper, who works for the senator, was confronted by an armed individual demanding her purse and keys. The senator's office expressed outrage at the deteriorating safety conditions in the city.
It's not just the staff who are at risk. Lawmakers themselves have been targeted. Texas Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar had a harrowing experience when he was carjacked by three armed individuals.
Recounting the incident, Cuellar said, "Three guys came out of nowhere, and they pointed guns at me."
Another incident involved a staffer for Minnesota GOP Representative Brad Finstad. The staffer was attacked at gunpoint after attending a congressional baseball game.
The list of victims doesn't end there. Earlier this year, Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul revealed that one of his staff members was brutally attacked in broad daylight.
The assailant used a knife, and the incident took place on the streets of D.C. Paul himself has been a victim in the past, having suffered serious injuries in an attack by a neighbor in 2017.
These incidents raise questions about the safety and security of the nation's capital. The city has witnessed a surge in crime in recent years.
In 2021, D.C. recorded close to 226 homicides, a near two-decade high. While there was a slight dip in 2022, the numbers remain alarmingly high.
Current data for 2023 indicates a 40% rise in violent crime compared to the previous year.