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Does DC Police Chief Robert Contee Have the Right Idea For Keeping “Violent People In Jail” To Bring Down Homicides? (Guest: Michael Letts)

The law enforcement veteran explains why Contee may have a point, but a lingering crime bill could stand in the way.

Crime continues to sit at an all-time high in several states, and Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee seems to have a proper solution for this – “Keep violent people in jail.”

During a recent Mayoral Public Safety Media event in the city, Contee made this point following the attack on Minnesota Democrat Represenative Angie Craig, who was assaulted by a homeless man who was a repeat offender. Craig had called out the city for being “soft” on criminals.

“What we got to do, if we really want to see homicides go down, is keep bad guys with guns in jail. Because when they’re in jail, they can’t be in communities shooting people. So when people talk about what we gonna do different, or what we should do different, what we need to do different, that’s the thing that we need to do different,” Contee explained.

This comes shortly after Washington D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson pulled a crime ball that would reduce maximum penalties for “smaller” crimes, such as burglary, robbery and carjacking. However, even with its removal, there’s still a chance that Senate could vote on the bill. If it passes, that could make Contee’s suggestion harder to follow.

With us now to discuss Contee’s comments – as well as the proposed crime bill – is Michael Letts, a law enforcement veteran with over 30 years of experience under his belt. Letts is founder, CEO and president of InVest USA, an organization that provides bulletproof vests to police officers through various charitable groups and sponsorships. His expertise will prove useful in this discussion.


  1. Do you personally think Conlee is onto something when it comes to keeping “violent people in jail” to bring down homicide count and other criminal activity? Or do you believe more needs to be done?
  2. Why do you think Chairman Mendelson pulled the bill? Was he concerned about backlash over lowering jail time for criminal acts such as carjacking and robbery? How concerned should we be that the Senate could still pass the bill?
  3. You’ve talked in the past about how some city governments really need to step up for their police officers to bring down criminal activity. Do you believe this is still the case? Or is there another solution you’d like to propose?
  4. Are you hoping that the Senate will finally pass the bill to “fund the police” and provide both the gear and mental health support needed for officers to continue doing their job? Why do you think it’s taking so long to get approved?
  5. We hear you recently announced a donation to police officers in the Atlanta area to support them through the current “cop city” riots. Tell us more about that, and how others can help.
  6.  You’re the creator of InVest USA, an organization that provides bulletproof vests to police officers through various charitable groups and sponsorships. Tell us more about that, and why support for fellow officers is so important right now.
  7. Where can we learn more about InVest USA, and how those interested can help their fellow officers.

You can visit our official InVest USA website, and learn more on the official Invest USA Twitter account.

About Michael Letts:

Michael Letts is the Founder, President, and CEO of InVest USA, a national grassroots non-profit organization that is helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience under his belt, hence his pro-police stance for his brothers and sisters in blue. Those interested in learning more about Letts can visit his official website here.

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