Archive for January 4, 2018

Brief Notes from Park View Crime Meeting

January 4, 2018

Last night’s emergency crime meeting organized by Councilmember Nadeau and including Commanders from MPD’s Third and Fourth District was packed to the gills. This is all the more remarkable as the meeting was announced just over 26 hours in advance and scheduled from 6:30-7:00 pm. With over five shootings in Park View since December 24th, it was clear that the community is both angry and concerned about the day-to-day public safety in the community. I also noted that there were community members from Petworth, Columiba Heights, and other nearby neighborhoods in attendance. The image below, from Twitter, gives a good sense of how crowded the Park View Recreation Center was.

While the meeting was scheduled for 30 minutes, it ran long and cut into the regularly scheduled Park View UNC meeting by about 20 minutes.

It was announced at the start that the subject of public safety is important and CM Nadeau recognized that 30 minutes would not be enough time to fully address the issue. Because of this a follow up meeting is expected to be scheduled to continue the discussion.

The overall format of the meeting began with CM Nadeau addressing the assembly, stating what she has been doing and listing the legislation she has been working on to make streets safer, such as her Street Harassment Bill. Following CM Nadeau, Commander Wil Manlapaz (4D) and Commander Stuart Emerman (3D) gave an overview of the recent violent crime in the community, where MPD is on these cases, and what steps they are doing.

On this front, the shootings have been describes as unrelated. In some cases they’ve already made arrests (such as the shooting on the 600 block of Morton Street), and in others the cases are still open. It was also noted that MPD is aware of motives behind some of the shootings, whereas in others there is no known motive at present.

In response, both 3D and 4D have increased their presence in the community with patrol officers, along with members of MPD’s Crime Suppression Teams.

Following MPD’s reports, neighbors were given the opportunity to ask questions. However, due to the time, all questions were asked at the same time with CM Nadeau, Manlapaz, and Emerman then following to answer the questions en mass.

It is difficult to say how successful the meeting was due to the limited opportunity to engage in a deep and robust manner.

Questions and topics ranged from where things are with implementing the NEAR Act (which wasn’t answered due to time), asking MPD leadership and CM Nadeau to specifically state what they were doing to restore community safety, and asking how to break the known cycle of events that occur on the 600 block of Newton Place.

I stated that it is difficult to hear that violent crime is down 28% in the District of Columbia from 2014 through 2017, when the same period for the area 1,500 ft. around 600 Newton Place shows assaults with a violent weapon (gun) up by 42.8%. I followed up that in 2017 the Crime Map application officially reports 10 shootings in Park View, with 4 in December alone, and that to me shootings are essentially failed homicides. In his response to this point, Commander Emerman agreed.

I also strongly advocated for all of Ward 1, and Park View and Columbia Heights in particular, to be in a single police district. Beyond the logistics of deploying officers, one of the results of the divided nature of the neighborhood between two police districts is that residents don’t always know which officers to contact with regards to crime in the community, and we can’t easily get crime statistics for our neighborhood because of the fractured manner with which the neighborhood stats are available. Commander Emerman again stated that there is a new crime data application being developed to replace Crime Map and that it should be easier to use for residents.

I’ve barely touched on all that was said at the meeting. The room was crowded, extremely warm, and the pace was fairly quick. If you were there and have corrections or additions to share, please do so below.


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