by Commissioner Charlie Bengel (2F-06) Chair, ANC 2F Crime & Public Safety Committee
Mayor Muriel Bowser’s failure to protect the citizens of the District of Columbia continues. Last week I wrote about the crime surge the city has seen (http://bit.ly/1NbvYDq). It’s only gotten worse since.
Matt Shlonsky was 23 years old, a 2014 graduate of American University and an employee at Deloitte. He was walking near the Shaw Metro station this past weekend, minding his own business, when he was randomly killed, a victim of a drive by shooting in what has become a lawless Shaw community.
As an elected city official I call on the mayor to immediately implement a true plan, with specific actions, to take back our communities from the violent crime we’ve seen recently.
The following are ten (10) simple strategies that could help right now. If I can come up with this list I expect our mayor and her leadership team in the executive branch can come up with an effective and comprehensive plan to solve this problem.
Use the bully pulpit of the mayor’s position to discuss with communities the importance of coming forward with information that could lead to the closure of open cases of violent crime. We must overcome the culture of a hero being labeled a snitch.
Increase the reward from $25,000 to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for homicides. Year to date the city has seen 93 homicides and more than half remain unsolved.
Re-introduce district-based plain clothes vice units. The Third District vice unit was responsible for 1,400 arrests and 100 gun seizures alone in 2014. Crime suppression teams, fully uniformed and in marked, and very visible, police cruisers, are unable to be as effective as the vice units were.
Increase enforcement of public housing and Section 8 rules. With 70,000 residents on the waiting list for housing assistance, we cannot tolerate any public housing or Section 8 residents who harbor criminals or break rules – or allow their guests to. When a public housing or Section 8 resident is convicted of a felony that news needs to be shared amongst agencies and result in an eviction per the public housing rules.
Set up zero tolerance policing zones where arrests will occur, without warning, to anyone committing any crime – including quality of life crimes such as drinking in public, prostitution, public urination, marijuana use, illegal gambling and the like.
Unrestricted police overtime. The police department needs as many officers on the street as possible to get us through the summer.
Curfew enforcement. The law says juveniles under the age of 17 shall be inside by midnight in the summer and that law needs to be strictly enforced.
The city needs to greatly increase the use of high definition surveillance and recording cameras and give grants to businesses willing to install exterior cameras and share the live feed with the police department.
The same people are getting arrested over and over again and it becomes a “badge of honor”, as one officer told me. We need to look closely at how many arrests are not prosecuted and what comes of those cases that are. The reality is a tiny portion of people commit the violent crime and we need to get them locked up for a long time.
All District agencies must work together to combat crime and the agency directors need to be held accountable. It should not have taken three months after a homicide across from Kennedy Rec Center in Shaw for DPR & DGS to get a contract for cameras executed.
The list above is only made up of short-term solutions to get us through the summer without more tragedies. The city must continue to work on long term solutions including increased and better programming at recreation centers, improvement of schools, job training and job growth.
I call on the city council to hold all city agencies accountable through oversight hearings and ensure all reasonable funding requests from agencies responsible for public safety are met now and into the future. Councilmembers also have a huge voice in the community and must speak out regarding this violence.
I call on my colleagues in the business community to stand by me and demand the mayor take immediate steps to combat crime before it negatively impacts our businesses.
I call on my fellow Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners to keep up the pressure. Don’t be afraid to speak out. Don’t let this issue slip when crime drops with the temperature. Demand that our leaders in the executive branch come up with long term solutions to what is an always anticipated rise in crime in the summer.
To our hardworking members of the police department, I hear you. I hear that you feel the neighborhoods and your progress over the years is slipping. Keep up your good work as the residents of this great city are behind you and we will not give up.
Commissioner, ANC 2F06
Chairman, Logan Circle Public Safety Committee
AGENDA* ANC 2F CRIME & PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING February 26, 2015
National City Christian Church – Third Floor Conference Room
5 Thomas Circle, NW (entrance: 14th St, NW)
Call to order at 7:00 p.m.
· Introduction of Committee Members
· Review of Crime Stats
NOTICE: This agenda provided by ANC 2F in advance of its public meetings contains matters that are expected to come before the CPSC. It is, however, subject to formal adoption by the Committee at the meeting, which may result in additions or deletions to the draft. Individuals who may have official business before the Committee or persons with interests in specific matters are advised to contact the Executive Director or the CPSC Chair in advance of the meeting. See www.ANC2F.org for contact information.
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a homicide. Investigators seek the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a person of interest in a Homicide which occurred on Monday, February 9, 2015 in the 1100 block of 14th Street, NW. The subject was captured by the building’s surveillance cameras.
DO YOUR PART TO HELP PREVENT AND SOLVE CRIME. The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons wanted for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia. Your assistance is appreciated by your community. Ref. CCN #15-020-472.
Anyone who can identify these individuals or who has knowledge of this incident should take no action but call police at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s TEXT TIP LINE to 50411.
To learn more about the MPD Rewards program, please visit www.mpdc.dc.gov/rewards.
This announcement is distributed by the ANC 2F Crime and Public Safety Committee (CPSC). Please note this event is not organized by ANC 2F. The CPSC is distributing information about this event because its content is relevant and of interest to members of our community.
TOPIC: Oft/on presents, “What to Do When You Are Stopped By the Police”
WHEN: Thursday, February 12, 2015, 6:30-8:30pm
WHERE: First Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church – Fellowship Hall (6th & N St, NW)
WHY: To prevent encounters with the police from escalating because of distrust and suspicion.
The below press release was originally distributed on Saturday, July 26, 2014 to the “MPD-3D” Yahoo group by the MPD 3rd District VICE Unit.
During the early morning hours of today’s date, members of the 3rd District VICE Unit conducted Anti-Prostitution Operation in PSA 307 in response to recent citizen concerns.
A total of six (6) adults were subsequently arrested and charged with ” Solicitation of Prostitution.”
Members of MPD will continue to monitor the prostitution activities along our 3D and 1D boarders and will work with both 1D VICE and the departments Human Trafficking Unit to conduct further operations.
NOTE: Below are the draft agendas for three upcoming ANC 2F meetings: the Community Development Committee (CDC), the Crime and Public Safety Committee (CPSC), and the ABRA Policy Committee (APC) meetings, all of which will take place on Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 7:00pm. It’s like the lunar eclipse of ANC meetings!
The CDC and CPSC meetings will take place at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle, NW). The APC meeting will take place at N Street Village (1333 N St, NW – 2nd floor multipurpose room).
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE (CDC) MEETING AGENDA*
February 19, 2014, 7:00pm Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle, NW)
Call to order at 7:00pm.
Approval of meeting agenda (7:00)
Approval of January 22, 2014 Meeting Minutes (7:00)
1313-17 14th St, NW development dialogue with neighbors (7:05)moved to March CDC agenda
Marriott Hotel project (9th & L St, NW) HPRB presentation (7:05)moved to March CDC agenda
HRPB application for rooftop addition at 1516 Kingman Pl, NW (7:05)
Design and development presentation for 1225 10th St, NW (7:25)
CRIME AND PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE (CPSC) MEETING AGENDA*
February 19, 2014, 7:00pm Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle, NW)
Call to order at 7:00pm.
Drug dealing and violent crime
MPD staff for our PSA, including whether we have the appropriate mix of bike, foot, and car patrols
CPSC plans for the year, including long term projects
ABRA POLICY COMMITTEE (APC) MEETING AGENDA*
February 19, 2014, 7:00pm N Street Village (1333 N St, NW – 2nd Floor Multipurpose Room)
Call to order at 7:00pm.
Finalize standards and templates for settlement agreements (SAs)
*NOTICE: The above agendas provided by ANC 2F in advance of its public meetings contain matters that are expected to come before the Committees. They are, however, subject to formal adoption by the Committees at the meetings, which may result in additions or deletions to the drafts. Individuals who may have official business before the Committees or persons with interests in specific matters are advised to contact the Executive Director or a Commissioner in advance of the meetings. See www.ANC2F.org for contact information.
Community awareness about crime is one of several factors that can help reduce the crime rate in our neighborhood. Therefore, ANC 2F and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) are teaming up to host a Neighborhood Crime Awareness Meet-and-Greet outside Whole Foods this Saturday from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. to share information and tips to avoid becoming a crime victim.
Representatives from MPD and the ANC 2F Crime and Public Safety Committee will be on hand to answer the community’s questions about neighborhood crime. We’re fortunate that crime overall is falling in Logan Circle, and part of that success is due to our community being aware of simple precautions we can all take to prevent crime and avoid being a crime victim! With your help raising our community’s awareness, we can keep that trend going.
Stop by and learn how you can protect yourself and make our neighborhood safer this Saturday, take home some pamphlets, and get ANC 2F crime stats.
Cathy Lanier, Chief of Police, and Jacob Kishter, Third District Commander, have confirmed their attendance at the upcoming ANC 2F meeting on Wednesday, October 2, 2013. Lanier and Kishter will join Councilmember Jack Evans (Ward 2) in leading a community discussion about the recent rash of gun violence in parts of ANC 2F.
MPD is expected to provide updates on the incidents in question, as well as discuss current prevention efforts. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle, NW). There will be limited seating.
As many of you are aware, there has been a rash of gun-related violence within parts of ANC 2F; gunfire has erupted two times in the just the past week. In his most recent online newsletter, Councilmember Jack Evans addressed the issue and shared his resolve to make sure steps are taken to prevent future gun-related violence in our neighborhood. Evans reached out to Chief Lanier and Third District Commander, Jacob Kishter, who reported they had suspects and hoped to make arrests soon. As a result of these recent incidents, MPD has stepped up patrols in the area, including plain clothes police.
This is a good first step, but Councilmember Evans wants to continue the conversation on what we can all do to prevent events such as this from occurring before they happen. As part of this ongoing conversation, Councilmember Evans will be in attendance at the next ANC 2F regular public monthly meeting on October 2, 2013 at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle, NW. Representatives from MPD will also be in attendance to provide updates on the incidents and prevention efforts. The ANC meeting will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. (a half hour earlier than usual) in order to provide sufficient discussion time for this topic, which will be first on the agenda.