Posted tagged ‘Crime’

Hot Spots in Park View are MPD Priority; Non-police Services Need to Step Up

September 27, 2019

Violence, and in particular gun violence, in Park View is something that many residents are deeply concerned with right now and with good reason. With 4 homicides in the neighborhood compared to 1 in 2018, crime has become notably more deadly — not just in Park View, but also in Columbia Heights and other neighborhoods across the city. Many neighbors question just what is being done to restore public safety in the community, and what is being done to address longstanding problem areas like the 600 block of Newton Place, NW. In order to get a better handle on how crime in Park View is being addressed, I met with MPD’s Patrol Chief Lamar Greene and the Fourth District Commander Randy Griffin to discuss what MPD is doing, and where other agencies or services may be falling short.

For context, I am including the 2019 year-to-date data for violent crimes report from DC Crime Cards below. While it shows overall violent crime is down, it also shows significantly that homicides and robberies are up in the neighborhood. It is also important to note that shots fired with no victim is typically not a category represented in the results, so this isn’t truly an accurate snapshot of gun events.

Violent crime in Park View for 2019 year-to-date (captured on 9/27/2019)

Following the shooting on the evening of Tuesday, September 24th, PC Greene shared the following:

Our team has and will continue patrols in the very challenging areas of [the] 600 blocks of Newton, Princeton and Park Morton.  The team has made many arrests in that area working along side our citizens.  The victim has even been arrested within the block as well.  Our investigative team is working the case and will determine all facts leading up to this shooting.  I will keep you all informed as the investigation progresses.  The Narcotics and Special Investigations Division, Commander Griffin and the Fourth District members will continue their efforts in this area.

Adding to this, Commander Griffin responded:

I can assure you that there is regular patrol in the area and the officers have been very busy.  In the past 6 months my team has affected 18 gun-related and drug-related arrests specifically in the 600 blocks of Morton St., Newton Pl, and the 3500 block of Georgia Ave.  My patrol members will continue their efforts and will investigate, apprehend and arrest the individuals in the area who have shown a blatant disregard for public safety.

What is particularly interesting with the latest shooting is that the person who was shot on Tuesday night had been arrested days prior as one of the people responsible for the significant graffiti that was painted in the area of 6th and Newton Place on September 13th. He was also the target of the shooting.

This provides insight into the broader challenge that exists when it comes to public safety and violent crime. MPD has made the trouble spots in Park View a priority, they are patrolling the problem areas, and making arrests. What appears to be broken are 1) Sentencing Guidelines and the court system; and 2) The need for non-police agencies and service providers to step up and deliver on their promises.

To provide an idea on why patrols and arrests alone, while helpful, don’t seem to be making the impact many in the neighborhood expect, here are the 2018 Homicide Victim and Known Offender Statistics as pulled in January 2019.

79% of 2018 homicides were firearms-related

2018 Known Offenders

  • 93% have an arrest history in DC. The average number of arrests per offender (adult and juvenile) is 10.
  • 49% had prior gun arrests.
  • 43% were under some sort of supervision at the time of the homicide.

2018 Homicide Victims

  • 82% have an arrest history in DC. The average number of arrests per victim (adult and juvenile) is 10.
  • 45% had prior gun arrests.
  • 36% of the victims were under some sort of supervision at the time of the homicide.

In short, this indicates that a relatively small number of individuals are repeatedly involved in homicides, and those who are either the perpetrator or victim of a homicide has a significant history as a repeat offender.

In relation to this, it was noted that residents who want to see violent crime go down, and who may be frustrated with the revolving door of the court system, may want to review DC’s sentencing guidelines and advocate for updating guidelines if they are misaligned. DC has local control of the sentencing guidelines. The value of Community Impact Statements were also noted, and there is a general sense that they do make an impact at sentencing.

I think it is important to note that no one I have talked to is dismissing the value of social services and violence interrupters, but it is also important to understand that the work they do requires a significant investment of time to build relationships, they will not be able to connect with everyone, and success may be difficult to prove as success is often a non- event (i.e., a shooting that didn’t happen). It is also notable that in order for intervention to work, there needs to be something better to offer.

This is why equal effort and investment from the Department of Behavioral Health and the Department of Employment Services (DOES) (to name two) also needs to be a focus for blocks like Newton Place. Participation in DOES’s Summer jobs program has resulted in permanent full-time jobs in places like the Department of Public Works — and job training and employment is something that has come up frequently in the discussions I’ve had with community members and Park View Rec Center staff familiar with the young people that are either involved or impacted by violence in the community.

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)

Shooting on 500 Block of Irving Early This Morning

January 24, 2018

Early this morning, MPD responded to a shooting near Irving and Warder streets. Below are the details from their listserv:

The Third District is currently investigating a shooting in the 500 block of Irving Street NW. An adult male has been transported to an area hospital with injuries to the lower extremities. Detectives are on scene.

Anyone with information is asked to call 202-727-9099. Motorists and pedestrians can expect street closures in the area and should avoid the area if possible.”

And on Twitter, the following was shared:

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.

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.

Park View Crime Meeting & Navigating the D.C. School Lottery Wednesday Night, Starting at 6:30 pm

January 2, 2018

Two meetings have been scheduled for Wednesday evening at the Park View Rec Center.

In response to the several shootings that have occurred in the neighborhood over the past three weeks, a crime meeting has been schedule for 6:30. the details are below:

Ward 1 D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau is holding a community meeting tomorrow with the Commanders of the police districts covering Park View to discuss recent shootings in the area and the police response. The meeting will be held before the regularly scheduled Park View UNC meeting tomorrow evening.

What: Community Meeting with MPD about recent shootings in Park View
Who: Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, MPD 3D Commander Stuart Emerman, MPD 4D Commander Wilfredo Manlapaz
When: Wednesday January 3, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Park View Recreation Center (693 Otis Pl NW)

This will be followed by the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Park View UNC, which will focus on the D.C. School Lottery process. The full announcement for the UNC meeting is below:

Are you navigating the DC school lottery for the first time? Are you a successful lottery navigator with advice to share?

Join the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition (UNC) for an informative meeting about the ins and outs of the lottery. A representative from My School DC — the common application/lottery system for all of the District’s public schools, including public charter schools and neighborhood public schools — will be at the event to explain the process and answer questions. Parents and staff from Bruce-Monroe Elementary at Park View will also provide information and answer questions about Park View’s in-bounds elementary school.

All interested neighbors, including kids, are welcome to attend this free and open event at 7 pm on Wednesday, January 3rd. We meet in the Park View Recreation Center at the corner of Warder Street and Otis Place NW, which is walking distance from the GA Ave/Petworth Metro.


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