Is This The Solution?

DSCN1033, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Following up on yesterday’s post on the drive by shooting, I wonder if in addition to MPD a security firm could also contribute to the solution. This photo was taken on the outskirts of Adams Morgan near Rock Creek Park. So who hires these firms? Is it mainly to prevent burglaries? I’ve read about an area of Brooklyn, I think, that has also hired a private security firm? Would this work for Columbia Heights and other neighborhoods in DC? I’m curious to know the logistics of how the community pays for them etc. What do you think – a good idea or a waste of money?

6 Comment

  • In the 1980s the private security firms sold their services to community organizations who requested voluntary membership in their community groups that paid for these security guards as well as ran other community events. In the 5-10 years that I lived at my parents’ house while they had one of these services there were zero home invasions, zero murders, zero stranger rapes, zero muggings, etc. But there were still 11am burglaries and as long as there are people away from their house, no matter what the neighborhood, there will be those. But I truly believe that there would have been zero muggings no matter what- there hasn’t been a single non-domestic violent crime in my parents’ neighborhood in 20 years.

    I felt overall that the security guard, because he was an uneducated armed tough guy just out of the US Army driving aimlessly through my teenage neighborhood, was worse than not having anyone there at all. In fact, we were of the opinion that he did cocaine or at least suffered from roid rage. The guy was bored and a little creepy.

    My parents did have a grill and a lawnmower stolen during that time period and both were taken while neighbors had landscapers working one or two houses away. The security firm didn’t stop them.

    But in some ways, I think their presence may actually help DC neighborhoods.

  • Some part of Georgetown has a private security force – I think it’s provided by either Securitas or Blackhawk. I’m not sure what good it does, but apparently a neighborhood association pays for it. I think you’d be pretty hard pressed to get many folks in Columbia Heights to pay extra for a basic city service. Let’s face it – hiring a private security firm like this is either a BS feel-good measure or an admission that the city can not provide for the basic safety and security of the people. Neither is really acceptable IMO.

  • Sursum Corda hired the Fruit of Islam security force awile back, to much criticism and (media) fanfare and reduced the crime rate quite a bit. Seems extreme but you know what they say about desperate times calling for desperate measures…

  • Petworth is too large for it to work effectively. One would think that with all the black churches in Petworth and other parts of the city, they would combine forces to hire security to patrol at night.

    It would only make sense considering that the violence disproportionately affects its members. That makes more sense to me than feeding the homeless or moving to PG to build a $50MM church.

  • PoP, Just a thought. You should start embedding Polls with your posts like CNN and other sites do. In addition to getting your readers comments on an issue it would help to paint a picture of what the readers think and more people would probably click on an annonomous poll than take the time to write out their thoughts. Do you think Private Security Patrols are a good thing Y or N. Would you be happy about a Mount Pleasant McDonalds Y or N. And when you do your best of food posts you could also list all of the places in a certain radius and then have people vote.

  • In my former Adams Morgan neighborhood I was approached by neighbors and asked to contribute to a private security force. I refused to do it partially because quite frankly because it wasn’t an unsafe neighborhood and partially because I don’t think that they work (they have no real authority).

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