Our city is mourning the devastating loss of Linda Harllee Harper, the director of DC’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement and the Office of Gun Violence Prevention — as well as a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and our Ward 4 neighbor in Takoma. Born and raised in DC, Director Harllee Harper dedicated her life to making our city safer with more than two decades of leadership in public safety, restorative justice, and youth development.
Linda was a beautiful person both inside and out. She had the most beautiful family. Linda also loved our communities deeply, and that was evident in the way she served. She had a warm spirit that nurtured collaboration, brought people together, and bridged divides. And there was a special place in her heart for our young people and returning citizens. We remember Linda as a devoted public servant who touched the lives of countless DC residents. And we honor her as a visionary leader who believed in the dignity and promise of every single person.
So much of the work of preventing violence and getting vulnerable people back on the right track happens with great discretion behind the scenes: mediating a conflict before it escalates, safely relocating a family in danger, connecting a returning citizen with a stable job, enrolling a young person in a program that will transform their life… These interventions rarely make the news, but they make a profound difference. For as long as I have known her, Linda has done this work in Ward 4 and across DC with great dedication and care — helping bring peace to our neighborhoods and hope to the people who need it most.
Linda Harper was in the business of saving lives and lifting up communities. That was her life’s work, and that will forever be her legacy in the city she loved.
I offer my heartfelt condolences to Linda’s loving husband and son, all her family and friends, and to Mayor Bowser and Linda’s many colleagues in DC government.
Rest peacefully, Linda. You loved DC, and we loved back. Thank you for everything.