Photo by PoPville flickr user dullshick
On the MPD-4D listserv a resident writes about a situation at 7th and Kennedy Streets, NW:
“I wanted to let you know that this activity is only getting worse. 7 people basically sitting on my lawn distributing money at the end of a hard day’s work dealing all around the street and neighborhood.
I call 911, but all the police ever really do is drive my them slowly. These people aren’t intimidated by that and they wont’ move. Basically the front of my house is a drug dealer office from about 7:30 pm to well past midnight – unless MPD cars are literally parked on the street. I can’t do anything about this without risking the safety of myself or my family.
Getting pretty frustrated.”
After a few more messages back and forth from residents and Captain Anderson, Capt. Anderson writes:
“We do have a system that also documents by officers run log for assignments. So our patrol officers are out of the scout car walking as well, from time to time during their tour in this area. This is along with the assigned foot patrol officers. So every level is performing policing as was noted by some citizens. They see the officers and acknowledge that we are locking lots of these guys back out there. So let’s be clear we are out with a presence and lock up perpetrators of crimes. The cat and mouse game is what I’m told frustrates citizens NOT the lack of policing at any level.
Last, I will ensure this presence continues after 730pm . Thanks to all who commented.”
I think this is a great example of how difficult this problem is in many of our neighborhoods. While I am a huge supporter of more visible foot patrols by MPD, it does make me realize that it looks like policing alone will not solve this problem. I feel bad for the resident and the Captain. You can’t blame either of them for feeling frustrated.
At the suggestion of a reader I have the opportunity to gather some reader submitted questions to pose to the mayoral candidates (via email) – current Council Chairman Vince Gray and current Mayor Adrian Fenty. So if you’d like to know what the candidates would recommend to resolve this situation or any other questions please place them in the comments and I will select five to be answered by the candidates.