Archive for the ‘Public Safety’ category

Notes from the January PSA 302/409 Crime Meeting

January 18, 2018

The January PSA 302/409 meeting at the 4Th District Substation on Park Road included some changes and case updates.

The biggest change was that PSA 409 now has a new Lieutenants, Sean Connors, who will be working the evening tour of duty. Prior to his assignment at the Fourth District, he was a sergeant at the Second District for a little over 3 years and an officer assigned to the Sixth District for almost 5 years. Lieutenant Jonathan Munk, who has been serving PSA 409 will be moving to PSA 408 in the Mount Pleasant area.

The meeting began with officers for both the 3rd and 4th Districts reviewing crime statistics and stating that crime is largely down across the board in comparison to last year. While this may be true when considering events in the overall areas represented by the reports, a good amount of time was spent discussing how that isn’t necessarily true for the Park View area which straddles both the Third and Fourth districts along Georgia Avenue.

Residents at the meeting focused the discussion largely on problem properties on the 600 block of Newton Place, NW, and asked about the process for getting a property recognized as a nuisance property. It is the Office of the Attorney General that determines when a property is a nuisance, and the process does take some time, but the officers at the meeting confirmed that they are aware of the properties, working to address them, and patrolling the area regularly.

Regarding the shootings in December, 3D Commander Emerman was at the meeting and shared that an arrest has been made in the double shooting at Georgia and Fairmont that occurred on December 29th. The charge is assault with intent to kill.

Commander Emerman also shared that a second arrest has been made in the shooting that occurred on December 20th on the 600 block of Morton Street.

With regards to shooting cases in the area, the 3rd District Prosecutor of the United States Attorney Office for the District of Columbia asked residents to consider writing community impact statements related to the arrest following the August 25th incident where an individual fired shots down the escalators at the Columbia Heights Metro Station.

At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Boese noted that the 14th Street businesses Jimmy Johns, Jenkins BBQ, Gussini, and Children’s Place are all closed or closing, and asked if the increase in vacant store fronts would impact MPDs police deployment. In response, Commander Emerman stated that this section of 14th Street is already a focus area with high call volume, and the store closings wouldn’t impact their deployment or patrols.

The meeting wrapped up shortly after 8 pm.

ABRA Removes License Suspension with La Morenita — Offer in Compromise Negotiated

December 7, 2017

La Morenita is located on the northeast corner of Newton and Georgia, between the Senior Wellness Center and Top Spanish

La Morenita was scheduled to go before the ABRA Board on Friday, December 1st, to address the incidents on November 13th and 19th that led to MPD closing the business down for 96-hours at the end of November. Instead, an offer in compromise (OIC) was negotiated  and presented to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC Board) by the Assistant Attorney General at the summary suspension proceeding. The proposed OIC, which the ABRA Board has the discretion to accept or reject can be read here.

In addition to the suspension served, the offer in compromise consists of the following terms:

  1. La Morenita Restaurant, LLC t/a La Morenita Restaurant (Licensee) agrees to train all employees to call the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) by dialing 911 when there is any injury, assault, physical altercation, or other crime involving staff or patrons. Licensee will provide training on calling MPD to existing employees the next business day following receipt of the Board order ending the suspension. All new employees will be trained on calling MPD prior to commencing employment.
  2. Licensee agrees to preserve a crime scene inside the establishment for MPD inspection if a violent crime occurs.
  3. License agrees that all employees will call MPD when there is any injury, assault, physical altercation, or other crime involving staff or patrons.
  4. Licensee agrees that all employees will fully cooperate with MPD or the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) with their requests for information.
  5. Licensee agrees to keep a log of police calls in a form acceptable to the Board. The form shall be submitted to the Board for review within 14 days. Licensee also agrees to keep an incident log.
  6. Licensee agrees to disable password access to its camera system and to grant immediate access to the camera system upon request by any Jaw enforcement official, including MPD officers and ABRA Investigators.
  7. Licensee agrees to modify the camera system within thirty days to retain video recordings for at least thirty days.
  8. Licensee agrees to submit a diagram to the Board with the location of all cameras within 30 days.
  9. Licensee agrees that, prior to re-opening the establishment, an ABRA Investigator will inspect the camera system for location of cameras to ensure that they properly cover the interior, exterior, and front and rear of the establishment.
  10. Licensee agrees to work with an ABRA Investigator to resolve any problems with cameras identified in the inspection within 45 days, provided that no fewer than six cameras will operate during that time.
  11. Licensee agrees to inform the Board within 48 hours when it learns that the camera system is not operational. Licensee agrees to repair the camera system within 30 days.
  12. Licensee agrees to have a security guard at the establishment for a period of 120 days commencing December 2, 2017 at the front door on Friday and Saturday nights, either from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am, if closing at 2:00 am, or from 10:00 pm to 3 :00 am, if closing at 3 :00 am. The security guard also will complete the police call log if the guard makes a call to MPD and complete the incident log.
  13. Licensee agrees to provide to the Board a copy of the security company contract within seven days.
  14. Licensee agrees to verify that any bartender employed is at least 21 years old.

Brief Update on La Morenita

November 29, 2017

Last week, La Morenita (at Georgia Avenue & Newton Place) was closed for 96-hours by MPD following a week with two violent incidents that occurred in connection to the restaurant. While the business has reopened, they will not be serving alcohol for the time being.

The Alcohol Beverage Control Board suspended La Morenita’s license as a result of the MPD temporary closing. An ABRA hearing is in the process of being scheduled, but no date has been set. There are a number of outcomes that could result from the ABRA hearing, from nothing to additional restrictions or conditions attached to the license and/or fines.

MPD Issues 96-Hour Closure for La Morenita

November 21, 2017

As a follow up to the serious & violent incidents on Georgia Avenue, and the two specifically related to La Morenita, MPD has issue a temporary closure of the establishment. I’ve been in communication with both MPD and ABRA and have the following update from ABRA which I am sharing to keep the community informed.

From ABRA:

The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration is investigating an incident at La Morenita Restaurant at 3539 Georgia Avenue, NW. Additionally, the Metropolitan Police Department issued a 96-hour closure for the establishment effective as of 8 p.m. last night (Nov. 20). The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will issue a decision prior to the 96-hour closure expiring on Friday regarding what additional enforcement action, if any, is appropriate pursuant to § 25-826 (provided below).

§ 25-826. Summary revocation or suspension
(a) If the Board determines, after investigation, that the operations of a licensee present an imminent danger to the health and safety of the public, the Board may summarily revoke, suspend, fine, or restrict, without a hearing, the license to sell alcoholic beverages in the District.
(b) The Board may summarily revoke, suspend, fine, or restrict the license of a licensee whose establishment has been the scene of an assault on a police officer, government inspector or investigator, or other governmental official, who was acting in his or her official capacity, when such assault occurred by patrons who were within 1,000 feet of the establishment.
(c) A licensee may request a hearing within 72 hours after service of notice of the summary revocation, suspension, fine, or restriction of a license. The Board shall hold a hearing within 48 hours of receipt of a timely request and shall issue a decision within 72 hours after the hearing.
(d) A person aggrieved by a final summary action may file an appeal in accordance with the procedures set forth in subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2.

§ 25-827. Request for suspension or revocation of license by Chief of Police
(a) The Chief of Police may request the suspension or revocation of a license if the Chief of Police determines that there is a correlation between increased incidents of crime within 1,000 feet of the establishment and the operation of the establishment. The determination shall be based on objective criteria, including incident reports, arrests, and reported crime, occurring within the preceding 18 months and within 1,000 feet of the establishment.
(b) The Chief of Police may close an establishment for up to 96 hours, subject to a hearing and disposition by the Board under § 25-826 if he or she finds that:
(1) There is an additional imminent danger to the health and welfare of the public by not doing so; and
(2) There is no immediately available measure to ameliorate the finding in paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(c) The order of the Chief of Police to close an establishment under subsection (b) of this section shall terminate upon the disposition by the Board of the matter under § 25-826.

§ 25-828. Notice of suspension or revocation
(a) If the Board orders the suspension or revocation of a license, the Board shall post a notice in a conspicuous place at or near the main street entrance of the outside of the establishment.
(b) The posted notice shall state that the license has been suspended, the period of the suspension, and that the suspension is ordered because of a violation of this title or of the regulations promulgated under this title.
(c) Any person willfully removing, obliterating, or defacing the notice shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter.

Luray-Warder Neighborhood Meeting Schedule for Saturday, July 15th — All Welcome

July 12, 2017

If you are interested in public safety, consider joining the Luray-Warder Neighborhood Association meeting this Saturday, July 15th! This is their annual public safety meeting and their guest will be MPD’s Third District Commander Stuart Emerman.

The meeting will be held at the Park View Recreation Center and begin at 11 a.m.

Please keep in mind that the border between the Third and Fourth Police Districts is Park Road, with the Third District area south of Park Road.

Mayor Bowser Takes on Rats

June 27, 2017

Rats are a huge issue, and one that seems to be growing in the District. Back in November 2013, Councilmember Jim Graham hosted a Ward 1 Rat Summit as part of an education and outreach effort to help reduce our rat populations, and since that time the problem has only gotten worse. Understanding how important this problem is — not only as a nuisance but as a basic public health concern — I was happy to see Mayor Bowser address the issue last week. Below is the news release outlining her efforts to deal with rats.

From News Release:

Mayor Bowser Highlights Citywide Efforts to Reduce Rodents

Solar Trash Cans, Smart Litter Bins, and Commercial Waste Compactors Will Improve Rodent Control

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, as part of Back to Basics DC, Mayor Bowser highlighted three District projects aimed at decreasing the rodent population in Washington, DC. The Mayor was joined at the announcement by the Director of the Department of Health Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Chief Technology Officer Archana Vemulapalli, representatives from the Department of Public Works, and community members.

“One of the most important ways we are moving DC forward is by investing in initiatives and technology that make our city healthier and cleaner,” said Mayor Bowser. “We are taking a comprehensive and 21st century approach to an old problem, and we ask that the community continue to help us by reporting rodent issues to 311. Working together, we can reduce waste and keep our streets clean.”

 Because most rodent activity stems from inappropriately stored garbage, the District’s rat abatement projects focus on improving how the city, businesses, and residents manage trash. The efforts bring together resources from the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Public Works (DPW), the Office of Unified Communications (OUC), the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), and the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD).

Earlier this month, DSLBD launched the Commercial Waste Compactor Grant, which offers up to $13,500 for qualified DC businesses to purchase or lease a commercial compactor for their trash, recyclables, or compost. The grant program runs through September and could help over 60 businesses reduce rodent activity by using sealed, rodent-proof compactors. More information about the grant program is available at dslbd.dc.gov/compactor.

 In addition, DOH is working closely with DPW and OCTO to strategically deploy 25 solar trash cans and 400 smart litter bins in rat hotspots around DC. The solar trash cans, which are enclosed and rat proof, have solar panels built into them, allowing them to compact trash without being connected to the electrical grid. Solar trash cans have already been installed on Barrack’s Row, Freedom Plaza, and Indiana Avenue, NW. The smart litter bins are trash cans equipped with a sensor that monitors in real time the amount of waste in a bin, the weight of the waste, and whether someone suddenly added large amounts of waste. The sensors then relay this data to a cloud-based web service used by DPW. The web service compiles the data into a map of every sensor-equipped bin in the city, showing which bins are ready for pickup. The data collected will enable DPW to better mobilize crews for pick-up and improve route and bin deployment efficiency.

“The Department of Health takes rodents very seriously and hears the concerns of residents loud and clear,” said Dr. Nesbitt. “We have a team of rodent experts who conduct inspections and extermination activities across the city, and they rely on the city’s businesses and residents to alert them to problem areas. We appreciate the community’s assistance with our rat abatement efforts, and we ask that people continue to report rodent issues to 311.”

DC’s rodent population is believed to have risen in recent years as a result of warmer winters. Last year, the number of 311 requests for rodent abatement increased by 65 percent from 2,300 in 2015 to more than 3,500 in 2016. The District takes a comprehensive approach to rodent control that includes community outreach, surveys, abatement, enforcement and cooperation with other DC agencies.  he city deploys teams of rodent control experts who target pests on public property, and will also treat private property if residents obtain signed petitions. 

 The Mayor also announced the following ways residents can help with rat abatement:

  • store garbage in metal or heavy plastic containers with tight-fitting lids;
  • place trash outside shortly before pickup, instead of days in advance;
  • remove weeds and debris near buildings and in yards where rats can easily hide;
  • store food that has been removed from its original packaging in metal, glass, or heavy-duty plastic containers with tight fitting lids;
  • remove uneaten pet food and store pet food in secure containers; and,
  • report rodent issues in your neighborhood, by calling or texting 311.

Back to Basics DC is an effort to highlight the day-to-day work that keeps the District moving forward. Follow Back to Basics DC on social media using #backtobasicsDC

14th and Irving Barnes Dance to Operate Soon

June 14, 2017

The Barnes Dance at 14th and Irving streets, NW, are scheduled to be in operation this month (perhaps has early as Thursday). Below is the flyer from DDOT explaining how it works. More information is available here.


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