Archive for the ‘Crime’ category

MPD Fourth District Leadership Meets with Park View Community on Public Safety

June 27, 2019

MPD Fourth District Capt. John McDonald (left) and Commander Randy Griffin (right).

In response to recent violence in the Park View neighborhood and staffing changes within the Metropolitan Police Department ((MPD), MPD Scheduled a community meeting on June 26th at the Park View Recreation Center. The meeting was well attended and included ANC1A Commissioners Michael Wray and Kent Boese as well as representatives from the Mayor’s and Councilmember’s offices.

The meeting was presided over by the new 4D Sector 3 Police Captain, John McDonald and Fourth District Commander, Randy Griffin.

While there was little information the officers could share about the active homicide investigations related to the June 19th shooting death of 29 year-old Juan Marcell Grant on the 700 block of Princeton Place, NW and the June 22nd shooting of two people on the 600 block of Morton Street where 45 year-old Melton Grant was killed, they did respond to overall public safety concerns and share some information.

Commander Griffin shared that the murders are unrelated and acknowledged that the gun related crimes are up in many parts of the city, not just in Park View. He also shared that the typical age range for those involved in shootings is between 18 and 24/25. It was interesting to note that Captain McDonald shared that MPD officers in the Morton Street area have also been shot at themselves while on patrol and that special officers have been assigned to the area. Additionally, on Morton Street MPD is collaborating with the DC Housing Authority Police for that area.

According to MPD, often what is happening is that a petty argument escalates quickly and one person has a firearm, often illegal, who then used it. For this reason, MPD has made illegal gun retrieval a priority as part of their response.

Additionally, the meeting afforded an opportunity to have a more robust conversation about public safety in general, address tensions between newer residents and long-term residents, and emphasized that staying alert and being aware of your surroundings is instrumental in staying safe when out in the community.

At the close of the meeting the Park View Rec Center staff also gave an overview of their programs and what they are doing to help reduce violence in the neighborhood, including a summer basketball tournament for young men ages 16-18 and a series of community events in the works for Friday’s this summer.

Special Public Safety Meeting Scheduled for Park View on Wednesday 6/26, at 6 pm

June 24, 2019

Commander Randy Griffin and Captain John McDonald of MPD’s 4th District have scheduled a special community meeting to discuss community safety concerns within ANC1A / the Park View Community.

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 at the Park View Recreation Center located at 693 Otis Pl NW, Washington, DC 20010 from 6pm to 7pm.

This meeting is open to the community, and I encourage neighbors to attend if they are available as I know we all have questions about public safety in light of the recent homicides and other violence in our community.

Most recently, on June 22, 2019, at approximately 9:50pm, patrol officers of the Fourth District received a 911 call regarding a shooting in the 600 block of Morton St NW and the 3400 block of Georgia Avenue NW. Upon officers’ arrival, one adult male was located in an unconscious state on Morton St NW with multiple gunshot wounds. The male was transported to a local hospital where life-saving measures proved futile and he was pronounced deceased. Another adult male was located in a conscious state on Georgia Avenue NW with one apparent gunshot wound to the body. The male was transported to a local hospital and listed in stable condition.

This was hot on the heals of a homicide that occurred on June 19, 2019, at approximately 9:25pm, on the 700 block of Princeton Pl. NW. When officers of the Fourth District arrived on the scene, the victim was located in an alleyway suffering from gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to a local hospital, where life-saving efforts proved futile. The victim was later pronounced deceased.

With the murder of Breon Austin on April 19th, this makes three homicides in 2019 so far for the year in Park View, which is a marked increase. Overall in ANC1A, there have been 5 homicides thus far for the year with two more occurring along 14th Street in Columbia Heights.

Heads Up, CSOSA & MPD Third District Hosting Public Safety Roundtable

June 10, 2019

I’ve just been notified of the following CSOSA/MPD 3D Community Roundtable to promote Safe Neighborhoods that will be on the evening of June 20, 2019. Please see the flyer below for details.

While this event is at the Third District Substation, the information should be relevant to all residents regardless of what police district they live in.

Park View UNC Public Safety Meeting Scheduled for May 1 @ Park View Recreation Center, 7-8 pm

April 30, 2019

The May 1st meeting of the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition will focus on Public Safety following the tragic loss of 16-year old Princeton Place neighbor, Breon Austin on April 19th. Below is the meeting announcement:

Although violent crime rates in the city and our neighborhood overall are on a long-term downward trend, recently gun-related crime is on the rise throughout the city, including in Park View. A little over a week ago, our neighborhood experienced the tragic loss of 16-year old Princeton Place resident Breon Austin to gun violence.

Please join the Park View UNC for a community discussion this Wednesday, May 1 at 7pm about how we can help ensure that all residents of our neighborhood are safe and secure. We’ll be joined by Earl Davis from the DC Department of Parks and Recreation to speak about the group he runs for neighborhood teens each week at the Park View Rec Center, and by Captain Sean Conboy from the Metropolitan Police Department, whose district includes Park View.

As usual, we will also have updates from our elected officials’ offices and time for community announcements.

We are also working to schedule speakers from the Attorney General’s office and other public safety-related agencies for future meetings.

UNC Monthly Meeting: Public Safety in Park View
Wednesday, May 1, 7-8pm
Park View Rec Center, 693 Otis Pl. NW (entrance on Warder; we meet in the room at the back)

Ward 1 Public Safety Meeting Scheduled for April 30th

April 26, 2019

Public Safety, and effective ways to ensure it in our communities, is something that is important to everyone. Here is an opportunity for residents to get engaged, show support for efforts that are working, and offer feedback on strategies that are falling short.

Councilmember Nadeau has announced the date and location of her 4th Annual Ward 1 Public Safety Meeting which will be on Tuesday, April 30th on U Street.

What: 4th Annual Ward 1 Public Safety Meeting

When: Tuesday, April 30, 2019

6:30pm: Open house with brief remarks

7:30pm: Meet neighborhood MPD officers

Where: Prince Hall Masonic Temple, 1000 U St NW

More details are available here, and include the following information:

We’ll have a new format this year based on feedback from previous years.

We’ll open at 6:30pm with an open house featuring representatives and brief remarks from MPD Commanders, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, Collaborative Solutions for Communities, the Ward 1 NEAR Act Study Group. Each representative will have a table and residents can mingle and ask questions.

Then at 7:30pm, we’ll be joined by neighborhood MPD officers for those who would like to meet an MPD officer who works in their neighborhood.

If Removing On-Street Parking Spaces Also Removed an Open-Air Drug Market, Would That Be a Fair Trade?

April 25, 2019

The 600 block of Newton Place, NW, has been a difficult street for many years. It is narrow. It does not have street trees. And, it has had an on-again, off-again history of open-air drug dealing. We all know that crime is a complicated thing to solve. Clearly, the police play a role, and continue to do so on Newton Place. Social Services also play a key role and we are increasingly identifying public safety issues that are better suited for agencies geared toward addressing addiction and homelessness, as examples.

But what about planning and design? The short answer is yes. Poorly planned roads, streets, and infrastructure can similarly invite criminal activity or at least provide a desirable environment for it.

The 600 block of Newton Place is one area that I believe rises to this threshold.

One recent Saturday as I was walking down the block, I noticed that a brand new Audi A6 was parked on the block, about mid block, with out to District tags. As I was walking, another vehicle with out of District tags parked on the block. The new driver got out of their car and walked up to the Audi where the two then proceeded to conduct a drug transaction. This was shortly before noon.

It got me thinking — if the on-street parking on the block is being used as part of an active drug market, is it serving the community? Moreover, would there be a significant hardship to the neighbors if much of the on-street parking was removed? Even more, if the parking could be removed, could a portion of it be repurposed for street trees on a block where no street trees currently exist.

The overview below shows the area in question. Today, Newton Place is one-way eastbound. There is no parking on the north side of the street and 22 parking spaces on the south side of the street.

(Overview of the 600 block of Newton Place, NW. The red arrow indicates off-street parking currently unused.)

Of the 22 parking spaces currently on Newton Place, I would recommend keeping the five between Georgia Avenue and the entrance to the alley. These support the Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center and the businesses on Georgia Avenue. Also, any resident can park in them afterhours for free. Lastly, as trash and recycling is collected in alleys in Ward 1, keeping the street in its current configuration up to the alley entrance would not create a new hardship for these core city services.

This would leave 17 parking spaces that could potentially be removed. In walking the alleys both north and south of Newton Place, with few exceptions each property has access to off-street parking. Much of it is used, though some of it isn’t. In one case, the apartment building at 636 Newton Place appears to have room for 4 or 5 parking spaces, but the area is fenced off and currently unavailable. This wouldn’t have to stay this way.

(Parking area at the rear of 646 Newton Place, NW, that is currently fenced off.)

In reviewing the current inventory of current and potential alley parking for the properties along Newton Place, about 10 new spaces could be accommodated without significant hardship — this means that the net loss of parking would be 7 spaces.

The question becomes, would losing 7 spaces overall on Newton Place be an agreeable trade off if it also removed the opportunity for out of District vehicles to park there and conduct their drug business on a daily basis?

As a potential bonus, presuming there were wide support for decreasing on-street parking on Newton Place, a portion of the former parking area could be repurposed for about 8 new street trees (see image below).

(Could a portion of the parking on Newton Place be repurposed for new trees?)

As stated at the beginning of this post, Newton is a narrow street currently consisting of one travel lane and one lane of parking. The average width of an American car is 6 feet, meaning that if just 3 feet of the street formerly dedicated to parking were repurposed for a line of street trees, the travel lane would increase in width by 3 feet. The overall result could be a street with less crime, a safer street for travelers, and a more beautiful street with the addition of a tree canopy.

MPD 4D Weapon Recovery Report from April 20th

April 23, 2019

Adding more to the conversation about gun violence in the surrounding community, the latest Fourth District Weapon Recovery email from Saturday, April 20th, is below. As has been pointed out to me, it is interesting that all the listed locations this time are in the Park View, south Petworth area.

The email from MPD 4D:

Every day, the Metropolitan Police Department works to recover and investigate illegal firearms in Washington D.C. In addition to our patrol officers, the Department has specialized units—such as Crime Suppression Teams (CSTs)—who work tirelessly to safely and respectfully secure illegal firearms and get them off of our streets. On Friday, April 19, 2019 , the Fourth District Crime Suppression Unit recovered 5 firearms off the streets in the Fourth District.

A Ruger .308 caliber rifle was recovered in the 800 block of Quincy Street, Northwest. CCN: 19-066-645

A KelTec Sub2000 9mm carbine rifle was recovered in the 800 block of Quincy Street, Northwest. CCN: 19-066-645

A Ruger .357 revolver was recovered in the 800 block of Quincy Street, Northwest. CCN: 19-066-645

A Colt .38 Special revolver was recovered in the 600 block of Park Road, Northwest. The following person was arrested: 20 year-old Reginal Steele, of Northwest, D.C., for Carrying a Pistol Without a License. CCN: 19-066-728

A Armscor Model 1600 .22 caliber rifle was recovered in the 600 block of Rock Creek Church Road, Northwest. CCN: 19-066-738

The Metropolitan Police Department also recovers firearms with the assistance of anonymous tips made through MPD’s anonymous tip line. Anyone who has information regarding gun recoveries should call police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, information may be submitted to the TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411. The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $2,500 to anyone who provides information that leads to the recovery of an illegal firearm hidden in the District of Columbia.


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