Archive for the ‘Public Safety’ category

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.

Neighborhood Involvement Does Help Reduce Area Crime

October 16, 2017

Here’s a great example of how neighbors watching out for their community can make a difference. Last Thursday, when a neighbor noticed that a group of men were entering a building that was being renovated late in the evening, they called 911 to alert MPD. The questionable subjects were entering the building from the alley.

Below is MPD’s description of the call for service shared on the 4D listserv on Friday:

Fourth District units responded to the 600 block of Rock Creek Church Road NW just before 10:30 pm, regarding a call for subjects entering an unoccupied residence under renovation.  Officers arrived on the scene and discovered 5 individuals inside the location, officers also recovered a .25 caliber handgun from the scene.  5 individuals were arrested and charged accordingly, and another gun has been taken off the streets of the city!

Junk & Jam in Columbia Heights on Saturday

September 22, 2017

This Saturday (September 23rd) is Junk and Jam in Columbia Heights, a day full of great community activities! It is a great chance to get out, meet people in the community, and help improve public safety by getting to know neighbors! The day begins with a multi-family yard sale that will stretch along Monroe Street from 16th Street to Sherman Avenue starting at 10 AM on Saturday, September 23rd. Afterwards, there is a Community Engagement Event starting at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM on the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza (the fountain @ 14th & Park). It will feature FREE live music, a variety of District agencies, and neighbors!!

Music will be provided by our very own local talent: Cosmic Music Collective, Jim Fey, and Nebraska! While enjoying great music, come by and visit with District agencies and civic groups to learn more about the services our city has to offer. Meet with representatives from: Washington Metropolitan Police Dept. 3D, District of Columbia Office on Aging, Department of Energy & Environment, and MORE!!

The flyer is below:

Arrest Made in Newton Place Homicide

September 19, 2017

Late yesterday, the Metropolitan Police Department announced that they had made an arrest in connection with the homicide on Newton Place. The full announcement is below:

On Sunday, September 10, 2017, around 9:30 PM, MPD responded to the reported shooting in the 600 block of Newton Place, NW. Officers located 41 year-old Antwaun Smith inside of 615 Newton Place, NW, suffering from a gunshot wound. Mr. Smith did not survive his injuries. Homicide detectives investigated the case and were able to obtain an arrest warrant for 36 year-old Antonio Williams of Northwest, Washington, DC, charging him with Second Degree Murder While Armed.

On Monday, September 18, 2017, Antonio Williams was placed under arrest pursuant to the arrest warrant.

Homicide on Newton Place Sunday Night

September 11, 2017

On Sunday evening at approximately 9:30 p.m. there was a shooting on the 600 block of Newton Place, NW. There is currently little information that is available at this early stage of the investigation other than that the victim succumbed to their wounds.

Like many Park View neighbors, I am deeply upset and angry that I have to share such information considering all the advocacy and reporting many of us in the community have done to shed light on the many public safety issues the community faces on this block, and at other locations in our section of Ward 1.

I am committed to working with MPD leadership and Mayor Bowser to address any shortcomings which contributed to last night’s tragedy — whether they be from MPD, other responsible agencies, and/or leaders who have been entrusted to keep our neighborhood safe.

I encourage anyone who may have information about the shooting to share it with MPD. Information can be shared anonymously by TEXT to MPD at — Text: 50411

You can also use the anonymous tip line information below.

Anonymous Tip Line (202) 727-9099 — This number is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers may request to remain anonymous.

Wednesday’s Park View UNC Meeting Focuses on Vacant Properties, Public Safety, & More

September 5, 2017

The September 6th Park View UNC meeting promises to be well worth attending. Below is the meeting announcement from the Park View listserv.

Please join the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition for our monthly meeting next Wednesday, September 6 from 7-8pm at the Park View Rec Center.

The main topic of our meeting will be vacant properties. We are honored to be joined by City Councilmember Elissa Silverman, who has championed a number of bills in recent years to address vacant property issues in the District. She will brief us on the problems that led her to work on this issue in the Council, and we’ll discuss how we can address vacant property issues in Park View.

We will also be joined by representatives from MPD to provide a monthly update on police activity in the neighborhood. We’ll also hear an update on the recent meeting of the UNC’s new Public Safety Working Group and the latest on the upcoming neighborhood block party.

Statistics Show Overall Crime in Park View Up

August 31, 2017

Public Safety is something I take very seriously, and while much of the work I do is directly with MPD and individual neighbors, there are times when a more public approach needs to be taken if we truly want to have safe communities. A recent effort that I would encourage neighbors to participate in is with the Park View UNC which held a public safety working group meeting on Saturday August 26th. At this meeting neighbors began listing the public safety challenges that our community faces and started the process of identifying which agencies (i.e. MPD, DCRA, DOH, DDOT, etc.)  would need to be included to successfully address the community’s challenges. As an active participant in the meeting, I can report that it was one of the most productive meetings I have attended in some time. The next Park View UNC meeting will be at the rec center on Wednesday, September 6th, at 7 pm.

I do believe there is a lot neighbors can do to make their communities safer, especially if their elected representatives are working with them, supporting them, and helping to coordinate with all the people that are needed to solve the problems — both in the short- and long-term.

With all of this in mind, I regularly walk the neighborhood to report problems and look at the DC Crime Map to understand what the official statistics tell us about our community. Its a good way to report issues proactively and keep an eye on problem properties. In Park View, some of our challenges include vacant properties, entrenched drug dealing, and being split between the Third and Fourth Police Districts. Because of the latter I generally choose the location of 6th and Newton Place as an area close enough to the neighborhood boundaries to give me an idea of crime trends when using the Crime Map. Anyone can use the Crime Map to fine tune the data to their particular address.

In looking at 1,500 ft around 6th and Newton, for the past two month, the statistics show that crime is up by approximately 46% overall from the same period last year, with only thefts from autos and stolen autos going down. This, frankly, is unacceptable and leads me to some basic questions which include:

  1. Does our neighborhood have the number of beat patrol officers needed?
  2. How does the neighborhood being in two police districts impact the overall service?
  3. How are plain clothes officers being deployed in the community?, and,
  4. For deeply rooted social issues, do the behavior health people have the staff, resources, and authority to address addiction and homelessness issues? If not, will they ever?

In my opinion, the answer to these questions is an overall “No.” I believe PSA 409 could use more beat officers, the entire neighborhood should be in one Police District, and I would like to see a stronger relationship between our plain clothes officers and the community. Lastly, while I value the work of our government partners who focus on the social challenges in our neighborhoods, I don’t believe they are staffed at the levels they need or that they have the authority they need to really solve deep rooted problems.

I’ve included the chart below showing the crime stats for the last two months compared to the same period last year highlighting the areas with the largest jumps — those being robbery with gun, burglary, and theft. I’ve also included the map on where the incidents were recorded.

Park View Public Safety Working Group Meeting This Saturday — All Neighbors Welcome

August 25, 2017

Whether you have been actively engaged with MPD over the past several months, or recently, public safety in the Park View neighborhood is top of mind. Community concerns about various hot spots in the community were top of mind over the past several months, and the shooting at the Park View Rec Center at Princeton and Warder on Wednesday night has only underscored the need to develop a strategy — not just to focus on current issues but also to proactively address future issues.

I’ve been collaborating with and supporting the United Neighborhood Coalition’s efforts to develop a community based task force to focused on public safety. This Saturday, this working group will kick off. Below is the announcement from the UNC.

As promised earlier this week, below are details and the draft agenda for Saturday’s meeting to kick off a Park View UNC public safety working group. All Park View UNC members and non-member neighbors are invited to attend.

Given last night’s events, public safety is top of mind for many in our community. This meeting will be a chance for neighbors to discuss the structure we’d like a public safety working group to take and determine its leadership. We’ll also lay out issues of top importance to the neighborhood that the working group can take on. Although many of us are urgently seeking answers about last night’s shooting, by taking space at this meeting for longer-term planning, we’ll be better equipped to address specific incidents in close coordination with MPD, our Councilmember’s and Mayor’s offices, and other city departments in the future.

I hope to see you there!

Where: Park View Rec Center , on the corner of Warder St. and Otis Pl. NW. We will meet in the small multipurpose room at the back of the rec.
When: Saturday, August 26, 10:00-11:30am

DRAFT agenda – Park View UNC Public Safety Working Group Kickoff

Saturday, August 26, 10-11:30am

1. Welcome and introductions: each attendee provides their name, where they live and their top public safety topic of interest

2. Issues: Brainstorm top issues that the Working Group will focus on (driven by what was covered during the intros and added to/tweaked as we go)

3. Process: How do we track these issues? Which DC city agencies or offices (Mayor, Council, MPD, etc.) can help? How can we best coordinate with them? If it is something the community can be proactive on independently, what action can we take?

4. Structure: What will the Working Group structure look like? This will include leadership of the Working Group overall, point people on specific issues, frequency of report-outs, etc.

5. Next steps/discuss meeting frequency

6. Adjourn

National Night Out is Tonight — Meet Neighbors and Police in the Community

August 1, 2017

Tonight is National Night Out (NNO), an annual event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. It takes place on the first Tuesday in August annually. Each year, the Metropolitan Police Department actively participates in National Night Out by rallying community members throughout the District of Columbia to join with neighbors and police officers in their PSAs to be a part of this annual event. Each police district organizes a location to assemble. Park View is split between the Fourth District and Third District, though the Third District event is closest to attend.

The National Night Out campaign involves citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from 9,500 communities from all 50 states, US territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. The details and flyer below are for the Third District event.

When:  Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Where: Bruce Monroe Park (3000 Georgia Ave NW)
Time:    5 pm to 7 pm

MPD Investigating Whether Officers Hit Boy and Left Scene

July 3, 2017

On the evening of June 30th, I was notified by neighbors living on 6th Street between Newton and Otis that at around 7:35 p.m. they heard a thud outside and a child scream. They indicated that it appeared to them that the police car had hit the child. Shortly thereafter, the offices left with the injured boy and his damaged bicycle still in the alley. According to the Washington Post, (read article here), this incident is currently being investigated.

Immediately after receiving the report of this incident, I reached out to Chief Newsham, Assistant Chief Greene, and the Fourth District Commander Manlapaz seeking answers. Both Chief Newsham and Commander Manlapaz responded quickly that they were aware of the incident and investigating it. I’ve since scheduled a meeting with Chief Newsham later this week at which I’ll be addressing this incident among my other public safety concerns.

Regardless of the details of the incident, one thing to me is quite clear … leaving the scene of the incident before an ambulance could arrive to make sure the 11-year old boy was alright is not acceptable. This is not the relationship that we should have between the community and those entrusted to ensure our public safety. Additionally, I think the incident highlights a symptom of a much larger problem — one made worse by the number of retirements and new hires that MPD is currently working through. Because of the attrition rate and efforts to hire new officers, I believe we currently have police offers who are disconnected from the communities they serve for a variety of reasons.

On a human level, no one who knew the community and those who live in it would have left a child in need sitting in an alley. This was demonstrated by the residents of 6th Street who took it upon themselves to ensure that an ambulance was called and made sure that everything would turn out alright. While they were doing the right thing as any neighbor would, to me they are heroes.

For my part, I’ll be seeking a resolution to this that ensures that MPD takes the appropriate corrective action and restores confidence that the incident currently being investigate never happens again.


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