Posted tagged ‘Public Safety’

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.

 

Paying Attention to Drug Arrests in Washington

August 15, 2016

I know a lot of people weren’t happy with MPD’s decision last year to do away with Police District-based vice units in favor of a centralized approach (me being among them). However, one thing MPD began doing that I do like is they begain compiling and distributing weekly Narcotics and Special Investigations Division Activity Reports via the MPD listservs. Their first report was sent out on June 15, 2016.

I’ve been looking over these reports with great interest and am trying to find a way to report the information out to the broader community. The reports have three basic types of information: 1) Narcotic Enforcement Unit Arrests, 2) Gun Recovery Unit Arrests, and 3) Criminal Interdiction Unit Arrests.

I’m particularly interested in the narcotic enforcement arrests — especially as these events are not tracked by the DC Crime Map. Looking at the report for August 13, 2016 (see full report on 4D listserv) I’ve created the following map showing the locations of drug arrests and color coded them to the type of drugs involved. Of the 25 reports listed, 5 (or 20%) were for arrests located in Ward  1 — all in Columbia Heights (mostlye crack cocaine) and Park View (heroin). No narcotic events occurred in Wards 3 or 6 this week.


(Quick key to map: Green=Marijuana / Yellow=Crack Cocaine / Red=Heroin / Brown=Synthetic Cannabinoids)

Councilmember Nadeau Holding Ward 1 Public Safety Event on Wednesday, April 27th

April 26, 2016

I wanted to make sure people who aren’t on the area listservs saw this. Councilmember Nadeau is holding a public safety event at Banneker Recreation Center tomorrow from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The full announcement is below:

A reminder that this Wednesday Councilmember Brianne Nadeau will be holding a Ward 1 Public Safety Event for residents to get to know the police teams serving Ward 1 neighborhoods and ask questions about issues in your community. In addition to the local police teams, Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier will be joining us to share updates about the work MPD is doing, as well as other community leaders working to ensure public safety in Ward 1.

What: Ward 1 Public Safety Event
Who: Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, MPD Chief Cathy L. Lanier, local MPD teams, Ward 1 residents
When: Wednesday, April 27th from 6:30 – 8:30pm
Where: Banneker Recreation Center (2500 Georgia Ave NW)

This is an opportunity to bring community members, MPD and local leaders together to address public safety concerns and build on the work that is already being done in our ward. During this event you will get to know the MPD team serving your neighborhood and ask questions about issues in your community. Additionally, this is a chance for MPD to share how Ward 1 residents can be engaged and effective neighbors.

We hope you will be able to attend and help us spread the word!

Please take a moment to RSVP online at http://bit.ly/1V5k2Yw or by emailing ehoren (at) dccouncil (dot) us.

Initial Look at DC’s Vision Zero

July 7, 2015

Following up on yesterday’s post about the need for better bike lane maintenance, I wanted to highlight the District’s adoption of the Vision Zero Initiative which began in earnest in March 2015. It is an initiative already adopted in other cities which “aims to improve pedestrian and bicycle transportation safety by showcasing effective local actions, empowering local leaders to take action, and promoting partnerships to advance pedestrian and bicycle safety.” The stated objective of Vision Zero, according to the DDOT Website is:

By the year 2024, Washington, DC will reach zero fatalities and serious injuries to travelers of our transportation system, through more effective use of data, education, enforcement, and engineering.

In particular, I like the inclusion of the Vision Zero safety map which lets residents indicate safety issues collaboratively. I noticed that there aren’t many issues listed in the Park View area yet, but presume it will fill in over the next several weeks.

Access to some of the related safety and traffic plans is available at the DC Vision Zero page here.

Vision Zero map(Detail from Vision Zero map showing Park View area.)

Community Crime Prevention Summit Scheduled for Saturday, June 6

June 4, 2015

mpdc-logoThe first of three crime prevention summits has been schedule for this Saturday, June 6, from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm at the Cardozo Education Campus. The event was organized by ANC 1B Commissioner John Green (1B12) and is co-sponsored by ANCs 1B, 1A, 2B and Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau. The details are below:

WHEN:   June 6, 11:30am – 2:30pm

WHERE:  Cardozo Education Campus (light refreshments and snacks will be provided)

PURPOSE:

  • Intended for all DC residents and business (particularly in Wards 1 & 2)
  • Meet others interested in reducing crime in their communities
  • Discuss ways to help DC neighborhoods be more vigilant and more secure
  • Discuss ways in which MPD and residents can be helpful to one another through community policing

SPECIAL GUESTS:  (subject to change)

  • Presentation by Samantha Nolan, DC Citywide Neighborhood Watch Trainer (12pm)
  • Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)
  • Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (FEMS)
  • And other DC public safety agencies

About the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) Community Crime Prevention Summit:

Co-sponsored by ANCs 1B, 1A, 2B and Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau.  The summit is a great opportunity for residents of Wards 1 & 2 to discuss crime prevention, while meeting interested neighbors, business leaders, police officials and D.C. agencies that focus on public safety.

Most crimes in DC are preventable.  Being aware of your surroundings and watching where you leave personal belongings can help you from not becoming a victim.  Please join us to learn more tips on how to protect yourself and about criminal behaviors that can help you and your neighborhood be safe this summer.

Ms. Nolan is DC’s foremost crime prevention expert and a certified Neighborhood Watch Trainer.  Her presentation is approximately 1.5 hours and open discussions will be encouraged before, during, and after.

For more information, please contact John Green, ANC 1B12 Commissioner at johngreenanc(at)gmail.com.


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