Posted tagged ‘Metropolitan Police Department’

Next Community Police Meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 19th, Includes Introduction to New Fourth District Commander

November 18, 2014
Map showing area covered by PSA 409, formerly the northern half of PSA 302

Map showing area covered by PSA 409. PSA 302 is to the souuth.

The next community with members of the police for the Park View community (PSA 302 and PSA 409) will take place on November 19, 2014, at 7 p.m.  The meeting will be at the Fourth District Substation located at 750 Park Road, NW. In addition to discussing public safety issues with our local police officers, it will also be a good opportunity to meet the new Fourth District Commander, Wilfredo Manlapaz.

On November 14th, it was announced that Fourth District Commander Kimberly Chisley-Missouri had been promoted to Assistant Chief in charge of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Corporate Support Bureau, which oversees the major administrative, technical and business functions of the Department and coordinates the delivery of services in several key areas that support operations.  This resulted in MPD’s Wilfredo Manlapaz being named the Commander of the Fourth District.

In her announcement regarding these promotions, Chief Lanier wrote: “Commander Manlapaz has 20 years of experience working in a variety of positions in the MPD. During his career with the MPD , Commander Manlapaz has patrolled the streets of the First and Second Districts as an officer, investigated drug-related crimes as a sergeant, oversaw violent crimes investigations as a lieutenant, and managed the Criminal Intelligence Branch as a captain. Most recently, he has been working in the Special Investigations Branch, where he oversaw members investigating Sexual Assaults, Financial Crimes and Bank Robberies.”

I’m looking forward to both meeting and working with our new Fourth District Commander.

MPD’s Tenth Precinct Stable, a Link to When Washington Patrolled with Mounted Police

October 17, 2014

Mounted Squad of the Metropolitan Police Force(Major Sylvester’s review of the mounted Metropolitan Police Force in 1903)

MPD 4D Substation at 750 Park Road NW, originally the Tenth Precinct building.

MPD 4D Substation at 750 Park Road NW, originally the Tenth Precinct building.

I’ve previously posted some history about the Metropolitan Police Force and  the construction of the Tenth Precinct building on Park Road in 1901. The creation of the Tenth Precinct and the construction of the police station were responses to the expansion of the city limits and urban population into the areas now known as Park View, Columbia Heights, and Mount Pleasant. Reforms in the D.C. police department in the latter decades of the nineteenth century had led to the enlargement of the force and creation of the new precinct.

The Tenth Precinct covered a large geographic area — bounded by the District line [north], Queens Chapel Road NE, Eighteenth Street NE, Brentwood Road, T Street, First Street NW, Channing Street, College Street extended, College Street, Barry Place extended, Barry Place, Florida Avenue, Q Street, and Rock Creek — which could only effectively be patrolled by mounted policemen at the time it was established. The Tenth was not the only precinct to have mounted police. According to a 1903 article in the Washington Times, mounted police were also employed at the Third precinct (1 officer), Fifth precinct (5 officers), Seventh precinct (11 officers), Eighth precinct (1 officer), and the Ninth precinct (8 officers). The Tenth precinct had 5 mounted police officers.

The Tenth Precinct stable, now serving residential needs.

The Tenth Precinct stable, now serving residential needs (View from alley).

The Tenth precinct station house is one of the more impressive buildings in the Park View area. Rightfully so, it was place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. But there is another building associated with the police station that isn’t on the National Register and, I’ll bet, unknown to all but a few … its stable.

The Tenth Precinct stable is currently privately owned and has been put to residential use, but anyone familiar with stables and willing to walk down the driveway to the alley behind the precinct building  will quickly recognize it. As far as urban stables go, its impressive. It contained seven horse stalls, a hay mow, and probably a hostler’s room.

Stable windows(The row of small windows on the east side of the stable are a clear indication of where the horse stalls were located.)

While many of the windows have been replaced over the years, by and large the building contains a tremendous amount of its architectural integrity, especially where the stable windows are concerned. Often times in old stable buildings, one will find that the window apertures for the horse stalls have been bricked in. In this police stable, that happily isn’t the case.

One of the two decorative corbels showing face detail.

One of the two decorative corbels showing face detail.

The building also has some rather ornate stone corbels on the alley elevation that are unusual for a stable. The highly carved corbels are organic in nature, but each also includes a face. Such decoration is most often seen on residential architecture.

The Tenth Precinct wasn’t the only police station house to have a stable, though its highly possible that it is the most substantial and complete example still standing. But, before that claim can be made a thorough inventory of police stables will need to be undertaken.

Floor plans for a smaller, though similar, police stable from the period are below. A review of them gives an indication of how the interior space was laid out and used.

Stable dwgs Police no 70005(First floor plan of a Washington police stable)

Stable dwgs Police no 70004(Second floor plan of a Washington police stable)

Brief Notes from Last Night’s 3D Citizens Advisory Council Meeting

May 30, 2014

Last night, the Police Department’s Third District held their monthly Citizens Advisory Council Meeting at the 3D headquarters on V Street.  The Council’s Chairman, Stanley J. Mayes, facilitated the meeting with the topic being  “Street Violence in the Morton Street Area: How can we work together to make our community Safe?”

News4 was at the meeting and you can read their coverage here and watch their video below.

Morton shooting video

Overall, the meeting’s format was informal, and began with Mayes recognizing ANC 1A09 Commissioner Bobby Holmes. Holmes began by stating that Park Morton is much safer that it once was. He described a time years ago when it was casually referred to as the Valley of Death where no one would walk through the complex — day or night — who didn’t belong there. He also stated that he believes the police are doing their jobs well, and that area residents need to step up and do their part.

Commissioner Boese (1A08) spoke next. He acknowledged that Park Morton is much safer than it was even a few short years ago. With that in mind, he voiced concern that the incident on Morton Street was essentially on the 3D/4D Police border and that that makes it a bigger, cross-border discussion. He added that he has seen an increasing number of empty drug bags and syringes littered around the community and  that the 600 blocks of Newton Street and Park Road are both more active than they have been in the recent past.

Carolyn Matthews, from Quebec Place, spoke next. She spoke about how the city has turn its back on the residents of Park Morton and the other new Communities and that this it wrong. She commended Commander Kishter for all the good work he has done in the area, and how the Third District had done a good job in making the area safer. However, she also noted that the area is starting to see the return of some of the activity that is the problem. She also spoke about how newer residents need to get involved and know the history of the community in which they live.  Lastly, she spoke about the need for more police patrols and police visibility.

Brianne Nadeau asked for more information about how the community/area is divided between two police districts and stated that residents shouldn’t have to know what district they live in, but rather just know that their safety is being addressed by MPD.

Commander Kishter briefly described the history of the police redistricting and stated that it had been agreed to that the redistricting would be reviewed and thought that that review could be soon. He then proceeded to state that while he could not discuss specifics about the shooting on Morton Street, it was not a random crime. MPD believes that the shooter had an intended target, possibly the male victim in this case. In answering a question regarding area arrests, particularly drug related arrests in the area, Kishter said that of those arrested about 80% did not live in the immediate area.

Others in attendance, including Martin Moulton and Ernest Johnson, spoke about victim impact statements and their effectiveness along with stay away orders for people arrested in areas where they don’t reside, the need to engage area youth, and the sense of hopelessness with its impact within the Black community. Moulton specifically asked Nadeau, as a candidate for DC Council, what her thoughts were on solving crime issues — especially when a high school student could drop out and make more money on the street selling drugs than staying in school and working toward a job. Nadeau responded that she knew it wasn’t an easy problem to solve or one that could be solved quickly, but that ultimately she believes education is still the answer and that we need to find a way to reach kids and train them for jobs or higher education.

The meeting ended after a lengthy discussion but without any resolution or action plan.

The next scheduled police meeting at the 4th District Substation, 750 Park Road, will be on June 18th beginning at 7 p.m.

DC Police History: Fingerprint Expert, Detective Frederick G. Sandberg

January 29, 2014
One of DC's finest -- Detective Fred Sandberg ca. 1920 (Photo from the Library of Congress).

One of DC’s finest — Detective Fred Sandberg ca. 1920 (Photo from the Library of Congress).

Here’s some Washington police history that I think is a bit fun. It’s certainly not anything that is generally talked about these days — at least that I know of. It centers on Detective Fred Sandberg of the Washington, D.C. Police Department.

According to newspaper accounts, Sandberg was the head of the Police Department’s Bureau of Identification before he retired in 1933, and he was considered one of the country’s leading fingerprint experts.

Sandberg was born in Sweden and emigrated to the U.S. in 1888. After serving in the Army, he was appointed to the Metropolitan Police Force in 1903. In rising through the ranks, he was promoted to detective sergeant in 1917 and made lieutenant in charge of the Bureau of Identification in 1932. He was placed on the retired list in October 1933.

At the time of his retirement, Sandberg was believed to have been the first American police officer assigned to fingerprint work, that being in 1904. But while his work in fingerprinting may sound like a familiar part of police work today, I found his work in printing noses more interesting.

Around the onset of the 1920s, the nose prints of animals was also explored. Sandberg is said to have developed a system of classifying dogs by there nose prints as no two are the same. The way one newspaper put it in 1923 was this: “Thumb prints for men, hoof prints for horses, and nose prints for pups.”

Sandberg dog nose prints(Fred Sandberg taking a nose print from a dog. Photo from authors collection)

Nose prints were also considered a method of preserving identification records for pure bred cattle. The procedure for making a nose print from a cow was described as simple. “The cow’s head is taken under the left arm, its nose wiped and ink applied with a soaked stamping pad. A small board to which mimeograph paper has been attached takes the imprint. The lower edge of the paper is started at the base of the cow’s upper lip and with slight, even pressure rolled upward. The resultant nose print is a permanent record, as noses do not change with time.” (Washington Post, June 5, 1922, p. 6)

Clearly, this did not escape the notice of Detective Sandberg. Below are two photos of him testing his skill with taking nose prints from a cow at the U.S. Soldiers’ Home in 1922.

sandberg soldiers home 1

(Detective Fred Sandberg at the U.S. Soldiers’ Home taking nose prints from one of their registered Holsteins. Images from the Library of Congress (above) and the author (below)).

Sandberg Soldiers Home


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