DMV Download from WTOP News

DMV Download is the only daily local news podcast created for Washingtonians. Every weekday afternoon, hosts Megan Cloherty and Luke Garrett go beyond the headlines with WTOP’s team of reporters and sources to bring listeners more on the biggest stories impacting the D.C. region.

Latest Episodes

DC Police Chief Robert Contee: State of the District’s safety

In this second portion of the exclusive conversation with DC police Chief Robert Contee, we focus on the state of public safety in the nation’s capital. Chief Contee shares his thoughts on the competition to hire police officers, the perceived increasing violence on Metro, and what he thinks residents and businesses can do to make the city safer.

DC Police Chief Contee: Threat of mass shootings ‘keeps me up at night’

As mass shootings send shockwaves through the country, we sit down with D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee to learn more about how his department is preparing for mass shootings and how it responded to the last shooting in April in Van Ness. In part one of this two-episode exclusive conversation, Chief Contee shares details of that mass shooting response, what his department has learned from other mass shootings and the plan to reassess the response plan with school leaders. Contee also shares his approach to a rise in teen-related violent crime.

DC convictions ‘called into question’ after crime lab blunders & Heavy cars set to face hefty fee

A DC lawmaker is refusing to wait to see whether DC’s Department of Forensic Sciences can right its own ship, proposing legislation to restructure the crime lab which lost the ability to process crime scene evidence in the Spring of 2021. Megan has been reporting on this saga for years. She tells us how we got to this point, and where a criminal investigation into lab management stands. Then, lawmakers in DC have placed a fee hike in the 2023 budget for drivers of heavy vehicles. WTOP’s Melissa Howell tells us while it’s meant to prevent additional wear and tear on the District’s roads, it could also impact the purchase and production of electric vehicles.

Gaging where feds stand on return-to-work debate & a DC deli owner’s fight to survive

To return or not to return to the office, that is the question workers and managers face across the country and in our area. This debate is likely to go on for a while, but in our region all eyes are on how federal agencies will decide whether to lean toward virtual, hybrid or in-person work. We talk to Federal News Networks’ Drew Friedman about how the government’s decision on his will shape how other industries navigate out of the pandemic. And with fewer office workers, some small businesses downtown are struggling with the drop in customers. We talk to WTOP’s Jeff Clabaugh about the numbers and a D.C. deli owner’s fight to survive.

Enrollment drops at community colleges & ‘Representation matters’ at US National Parks

College enrollment is below average nationally, but the drop in enrollment is hitting community colleges especially hard. However, as WTOP’s Mike Murillo explains, it’s not entirely due to the pandemic. And one professor’s idea to introduce minority students at Bowie State University to the National Parks on a 1500-mile journey is more than just a fun trip. WTOP’s John Domen explains why he says a change is needed at the parks which are mostly enjoyed by white Americans.

Verdicts in Depp-Heard Defamation Trial & Commanders’ Dan Snyder called to Congress

After six weeks of trial in Fairfax County, a jury reached a verdict in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation suits. Finding both proved defamation, the jury awarded Depp a far greater amount in compensatory damages than it did for Heard. We speak with entertainment attorney Kirk T. Schroder who explains what the verdict means and whether it could be appealed. And members of Congress want to hear from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Washington Commanders team owner Dan Snyder — calling them to appear in front of the House Oversight Committee. WTOP’s Mitchell Miller tells us what this means for the Congressional investigation into workplace harassment within Snyder’s organization.

Va. law loops parents in on school threats & DC’s eaglet gets a name

A new law in Virginia that goes into effect in a month aims to keep parents in the know when it comes to violence or threats at school. Before now, principals only had to report crimes that would be considered felonies to law enforcement. Now, they must also report misdemeanors. WTOP’s Neal Augenstein explains why some think the law will prevent violence, while others are concerned over who it singles out. Then, we turn to a bald eagle nest at DC’s National Arboretum where an eaglet known as DC9 now has a new name. WTOP’s Kate Ryan tells us how he got the name, some of his quirks and the details of his parents’ love story.

Monkeypox in Northern Virginia. Plus, noticeable changes at Delmarva beaches

Monkeypox is in the D.C. region. The Virginia Department of Health found a confirmed case of Monkeypox in Northern Virginia. So, should we worry about this virus or do anything about it? Virologist Andrew Pekosz at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health talks about what Monkeypox is and how we should treat it. And scores of DMV residents are migrating to Delmarva beaches this long weekend, but they’ll notice that a lot has changed. WTOP’s John Domen says staff shortages are hitting the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia coasts hard.

The X's and O's of getting a Commanders stadium in Va.

There is a push among lawmakers in Virginia to strike a deal with Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder who is looking for a location for the football team’s new stadium. WTOP’s George Wallace catches us up on the land option in Woodbridge, Va., the recent dissent among other NFL franchise owners, and where the team is resting its hopes. Then, state delegates both for and against bringing a Commanders stadium in the Commonwealth tell us about the legislation they plan to discuss in a special assembly June 1.

School shooting threat in the DMV: How to talk to kids, increased security, and our gun laws

Hours before a gunman killed 19 students and 2 adults at a Texas elementary school, officials in Maryland learned of a threat to Gale Bailey Elementary School in Charles County. We talk with Dr. Maria Navarro, superintendent of Charles County’s Public Schools about how it’s responding, and WTOP’s Nick Iannelli shares how school districts across the DMV are increasing security. And as we all wrap our heads around the news from Texas, WTOP’s John Domen shares some psychiatrist-approved guidance for talking to kids about the tragedy. We also hear from Dr. Cassandra Crifasi, deputy director of the Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy at Johns Hopkins about successful programs and changing gun laws in our region.