Posted tagged ‘Public Safety’

Sidewalk Safety Measures Should be in Every Neighborhood

September 28, 2017

Section of sidewalk with ground corners.

While walking around Park View and Columbia Heights, I frequently find sections of raised sidewalk that are trip hazards. Yet, I’ve noticed while walking around in the Adams Morgan area that many of the raised corners that were once trip hazards have been ground down (see example at right).

The more I consider the different treatment of how sidewalks are made safe in Ward 1, the more I think that the efforts to make Adams Morgan sidewalks safe need to be rolled out to every neighborhood. I’ll be advocating with the city to either grind down or replace the unsafe sidewalks areas in our section of the Ward 1.

 

 

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:

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.

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

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.

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

Bicyclist Struck on Warder/7th Street Last Night

August 23, 2016

Last night, a woman riding a bicycle was the victim of a hit and run at the intersection of Rock Creek Road and 7th/Warder Street which occurred around 5:30 p.m. In speaking with neighbors, I’ve been told that the cyclist was conscious after the accident but seriously injured and left in an ambulance. Neighbors also relayed that the vehicle had Texas plates, and they suspect may have been stolen as the driver fled the scene on foot after the collision. Police had the area blocked off and were redirecting traffic for a time following the accident.

The Washington Post also provided some details of the event, which can be read here.

 


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