MPD announces the start of “Operation Adams Morgan”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Faucetini

From an MPD press release:

After a long series of planning and collaborative sessions with the citizens and businesses of Adams Morgan, the Adams Morgan BID and various concerned stakeholders that provided information by either telephone or internet, MPD has announced the start of the first phase of “Operation Adams Morgan”.

Over the next few weekends, MPD will deploy more officers and resources into the Adams Morgan area then seen in many years. This will be completed without affecting the deployments of any other community.

The initial phase will begin this weekend with minor parking restrictions along 18th Street and gradually progress into a full compliment of uniformed and undercover officers conducting various operations while teaming up with several city agencies (DPW, DDOT, ABRA) in addition to members of The Guardian Angels. The collaborative effort will target underage drinking, drunk driving, alcohol and narcotic related offenses as well as many quality of life issues and concerns.

Phase one of “Operation Adams Morgan” will continue until later this year when MPD’s redistricting program is implemented and places additional manpower and available resources evenly across the entire patrol district.

The Metropolitan Police Department want to thank all that took part in the brainstorming and strategic planning stages of this endeavor and will stay committed to ensurung we are all working towards achieving a safer community for all.

Personally I think this is a great thing for Adams Morgan especially after seeing how out of control things can get.

Though, out of curiosity, I’d be interested to learn how they are able to implement such an operation while it “will be completed without affecting the deployments of any other community.”

111 Comment

  • They misspelled Columbia Heights.

  • They also used the wrong then/than.

  • I live in AdMo and think this is great. Not only does 18th Street get out of control, the boorish behavior spills all over the neighborhood like so much vomit being heaved from drunken bellies.

    I’m not sure how this gets pulled off without taking away resources from other areas, but I hope the initiative produces results quickly. If you ever want to see a real horror show, sit anywhere within 3-4 blocks of Kalorama Park at 3am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning. Frankly it’s amazing there aren’t more drunken driving fatalities.

    • LOL I often sit at the park and drunken people watch. Very entertaining to say the least.

    • me

      People calling places “AdMo” and “CoHi” need to be slapped.

      • How do I get “T-Town” or “Dub-T” to be the unofficial nickname for my hood…

      • Thanks for appointing yourself DC Chief of the Grammar and English Usage Police. Such a useful comment.

        Why don’t you pay a visit to ye olde Adams Morgan and engage in some of your clearly justified and much ballyhooed slapping? In return, maybe you’ll get a Big Slice smashed in your face, further justifying the presence of real police to protect overly-self-righetous dweebs like yourself.

        • me

          Hilarious response from someone who gets offended over the littlest things, like a comment made in jest from a complete stranger on an anonymous blog roll… thanks for making me laugh, I needed it today!

          And mmm, a Big Slice in my face sounds really good right now… time for some lunch!

    • Emmaleigh504

      Yep. People like to walk a little ways off 18th St to fight, have sex, and do drugs in my well lit alley. I find the sex in my alley particularly concerning because it can be difficult to tell if it’s consensual.

    • If, as a resident of Adam’s Morgan, your biggest concern is drunks and their vomit, I don’t think a police task force is needed. The violence and murders in Columbia Heights seems slightly more pressing, in my opinion.

  • I want Operation 14th and Spring. I don’t recall there being a handful of shootings in the last month in Adams Morgan, nor were there two separate incidents of someone being beaten with a pipe and robbed in the wee hours of the night.

    • yep, exactly what i thought as i read this.

    • Exactly. The problems of Adams Morgan pale in comparison to the double homicides, shootings, tranny sex, constant crack dealing, and pipes to faces that’s going on in CH.

      Also, why don’t they shut down 18th street on Friday and Saturday nights?

    • Also +1. Why the extra force in Adams Morgan? A cop dances with a drunken idiot and that’s out of hand?

      What about my neighbor’s houses robbed, cars set on fire, people shot in the head, people shot in muggings, pipes smacked in people’s faces, cars broken into, fights, public littering and loitering, bars being robbed, bars being vandalized, etc.

      • It’s virtually impossible with DC’s budget to have enough police presence to deter muggings, car break-ins, and vandalism across large swaths of Petworth /Columbia Heights.

        Police presence HAS increased but no positive effect have occured as the criminals just move to the next block.

        Sending 5-10 extra cops to AdMo and tell them to break up fights and bust drunk drivers is like shooting fish in a barrel.

    • +1 I agree wholeheartedly

  • “The collaborative effort will target underage drinking, drunk driving, alcohol and narcotic related offenses as well as many quality of life issues and concerns.”

    It would be nice if they also targeted people getting hit in the face with metal pipes.

  • How about Operation everywhere else there is crime like Shaw? I wish MPD wouldn’t just be focused on protecting frat boys

  • This is good news for the residents and businesses of the area.

    Why is there a gradually progress to full force? Drunk driving, underage drinking and violence doesn’t need gradual attention—it needs immediate full attention. The resulting violence and behavior impacts the communities around AM.

  • Question, why are they taking potential crime here so much more seriously than they take much higher crime rates in other parts of the city?

  • BREAKING: Residents in certain communities unhappy that enhanced police presence in another community isn’t in their community instead. DEVELOPING…

    • i think the point is that they seem to be targeting drunken-idiot crimes on 18th street, rather than focusing on areas experiencing spikes in ultra-violent pipe-to-the-face type crimes.

    • Not so. It is a question between combating an outbreak of serious violent crime vs. busting some kids with fake id’s from Gonzaga. I mean, how out of touch can we be on the rash of violence happening in Columbia Heights. Quality of Life arrests. Are you f’ing kidding me with this sh*t.

      How about operation stop shooting mother f’ers in broad daylight or directly under shot spot cameras on a major street at 10:00 at night. Or operation, bust the illegal gambling that everybody knows is going on before it turns into a double murder.

  • Can we get George Peppard to run this unit?

  • So this is really just to get the police force in form for the next golden gloves tournament, right?

  • 80% of what this will accomplish could be done with DUI checkpoints on 16th and the Ellington bridge or CT and putting a plainclothes team at Kalorama and Ontario to do curfew enforcement. Put the rest of the cops up in Columbia Heights.

  • Part of it may simply be the scale of violations taking place in Adams Morgan. There are a large number of police cars there every friday and saturday night, and even with that additional police presence there are far more incidents than can be managed. I live in the same PSA as Adams Morgan and on a weekend night, police rarely respond to quality of life concerns from the surrounding neighborhood because that’s not a priority at that point.

    Furthermore, incidents in Adams Morgan are predictable (on any given weekend night, there WILL be mass chaos) as opposed to the pipe-to-the-fact type crimes which occur at unpredictable intervals. Presumably, the police force decided that the near guarantee of a crime decrease with additional police presence in the area is worth the extra expenditure, and this way they will not have to pull patrols from other areas (like 14th and Spring) to respond to major incidents that arise.

  • I live in AdMo and am used to the debauchery on Friday and Saturday nights; however, I have learned to avoid this area like the plague on late-night weekends because, well, I’m not in college anymore and there are just TOO many people on the sidewalks once the bars let out.

    However, it’s great for ‘people watching’ at 2 a.m. if you’re slightly adventurous…

  • Operation Shaw? Anyone?

  • Bring on the police state. This is very reminiscent of what happened to Atlanta’s “party district” Buckhead. Local authorities stamped out any modicum of fun after Ray Lewis and his goons ripped through town.

  • Adams Morgan is a high revenue area, I’m certain, insofar as these drunken buffoons bring a lot of taxable money in to the city. If they go, the city loses. There are more people, period, on a given weekend night in Adams Morgan than any of the neighborhoods mentioned above.

    I’m also really excited about the Guardian Angels and their red berets.

    • I think any overzealous Guardian Angel will find out very quickly that mixing it up with local “mobs” and “crews” will never end well for them. A nightstick versus an assault rifle is a losing proposition.

  • There will always be those complaining about rowdy drunk people, but based on the recent petition that circulated through the neighborhood, it’s clear that what most of us in the Adams Morgan community are upset about isn’t drunk revelry. It’s violence, muggings, break-ins, drunk driving, etc.

    Speaking personally, I would say the pizza boxes, shattered glass and vomit on Sunday mornings is the price I pay to live so close to so many great places (there remain great places to eat, drink and shop on 18th St.). But the violent beating and mugging in front of my house a few weeks back, reported right here on PoP, is not something I’m willing to brush off.

  • people are getting mugged and murdered over here daily, and they are focusing all the departments policing efforts on adams morgan drunks? really?

  • Adams Morgan is the Bourbon Street of DC. It’s where tourists go to get drunk (and when I say tourists, I mean our friends from VA and MD). So the police want to protect the area knowing that with the slightest incident you have Pat Collins, Will Thomas, and Darcy Spencer fighting for the best backdrop for their inevitable story on the crime in this lovely neighborhood. For Columbia Heights to get the same attention, you need more tourists. The Target and Best Buy is a good start but you need to do more.

  • I think the people here criticizing the stepped up police presence on 18th street as an effort to “protect drunk frat boys” or “drunk revelry” haven’t spent much time in Adams Morgan recently between the hours of 230am and 330am. By that point, most bar patrons have dissipated and it’s basically a free-for-all with the crews/loiterers. It’s a powderkeg and could easily turn for the worse. Worse still, there are only a handful of police officers currently assigned or available (8 or so).

    If anything, be happy that MPD can actually respond to community concerns. Your community wants a bigger police presence? Ask your BID to pay O/T for police/security.

    • +1. I’ve noticed a definite uptick in the numbers of riff-raff not only loitering around 18th at night, but spilling over into the surrounding residential community of which I am a part. I’ve lived there for five years; 2008 was terrible for crime and it seems like the the same “vibe” is hanging over AM now. This summer alone I’ve had a group of teenagers throw a bottle at my dog, my car broken into twice, and my S.O. verbally assulted twice, one of which could have turned physical had I not shown up.

      I think, as someone else mentioned, that Adams Morgan is a “predictable” source of crime, as opposed to Columbia Heights or other areas. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be address (or in fact, isn’t a more efficient use of force. Take care of what you know you can)

      • Adams Morgan is more bang for your buck. For every dollar you spend on adding an officer there, you will stop proportionally more crime than any other place in the city. Personally, I’d like to see 3 – 4 check points in the neighborhood. I’d like to see them fill the wagons up with a couple dozen drunk drivers every weekend. Lord knows it’d be easy to pick ’em off.

        I’m happy with more officers on 18th, as long as they are paid for by the businesses along 18th. In fact, I think it should be mandatory — something like a special tax for operating late night on 18th. I don’t care about the financial hardship imposed on owners, because I think slightly fewer bars would actually benefit the strip and address some resident quality of life concerns.

        • +1 all the way.

        • Yea, this is right on the money. Fewer bars would help the neighborhood be more livable.

          As much as NIMBY people like to bandy about “oh no, we’ll turn into the next Adams Morgan,” there’s a certain justifation that no area of the city should strive to replicate 18th Street. I’ve lived 2 blocks away for 8 years and I rarely go to 18th since I’m not a drinker and don’t care for pizza or McD’s.

        • you guys are rehashing old anti-Adams Morgan b.s. the # of bars on 18th street is not the problem. the PROBLEM is the LOITERERS. these people are NOT legitimate customers of any bar on the strip. they’re hanging out on the sidewalks and looking for trouble.

          • True statement. But it’s a “chicken or egg” problem. Would the loiterers be there without the bars? Probably not. But the people causing the trouble there seldom step foot in the bars. The problem is that anti-loitering laws are almost impossible to enforce and cries of racism would be immediate.

          • +1 To The Heights’ statement above.

            The main reason, however, for reducing the number of bars — besides most of them being truly horrible — is that Adams Morgan is completely oversaturated with bars, and that precludes an offering of more varied options to residents.

            Hopefully, as Adams Morgan continue to decline, rents become more affordable and support the addition of non-bar establishments once again.

    • Live near 18th street and totally agree with this.

    • Mo is right. I generally never go to Adams Morgan on a weekend (maybe 1-2x per year) but I was there around 3:30 am on a Saturday night a couple months back (my friend desperately wanted schwarma, and it took around 30 minutes to get though the line) and I was taken aback by the mess of crews that were out on 18th street at that time. Friend and I got a cab asap and got out of there. But I live in Columbia Heights and have really started to be frightened by the recent spike in violence there too.

  • There are only 3 bars I will go to on 18th Street on a Friday or Saturday night. If anyone can name them, I will buy you/them/me a/many/pitcher of BEER!

    And I live in Adams Morgan. Well, Lanier Heights. LaHi? Sorry.

    • I don’t know anything about you, but let’s see. What’s vaguely palatable on 18th on a Friday?

      Angles. Former Toledo Lounge. Asylum.

      I’d also throw in Pharmacy Bar as my back up choice, just because that seems like a place you might go to — again, not knowing anything about you. Just guessing.

      • The Reef? Bossa?

      • Asylum f’ing sucks. Why would anyone remotely enjoy going there? How is it different than any of the other crappy places in that area?

      • Black Squirrel, Chief Ikes, the Churreria (which is one of the only places worth going on a Friday of Saturday night there – an island of calm in a sea of madness).

    • Asylum, Pharmacy and the OLD Toledo Lounge (the new one is a travesty that serves tapas).

    • Dan’s Cafe, Asylum, Black Squirrel

    • Hmmmm. Bourbon, Pharmacy, and Asylum.

    • Haha, damn, you are all pretty right on.

      To the Anon who says Asylum sucks, you’re an idiot. I love that place for the food and staff.

      Angles is fucking incredible.

      And I love Pharmacy Bar.

      The regular level of Bourbon is decent too, on the weekends.

      Toledo & Black Squirrel are cool as well.

      I wish The Reef was cool on the weekends. Brian needs to turn the music down a bit. GET OFF MY LAWN. I’m not even that old, but I go to bars to get drunk and laugh with friends. And to do that I have to hear what they say, and then not have to shout things.


      So I didn’t expect anyone to respond to this comment, and payday isn’t until Saturday. But you all deserve a pat on the back, and a beer.

      • I thought you were someone I vaguely knew, but it turns out we just have similar taste.

        Makes me want to pay a visit to Pharmacy Bar, but I have plans later tonight. Can I alter them? Nah…

        • Haha, well maybe you do vaguely know me. Ok I’ll buy you a beer.

          • Great, I’ve actually been a fan of yours since you sponsored that one episode of Sesame Street awhile back.

            Saturday works. What time will you have returned from the check cashing place? I have to be at Looking Glass at some point that night TBD, but I can swing a icy cold beer or 7.

          • This reply made me think too hard.

            I’m off to NYC this weekend.

            I’ll probably be at Asylum Sunday night. Late-ish.

            Go there and yell out, “Dave!”

      • Is your phone number on one of the Jenga tiles?

  • “One City Summer Fun … Something for Everyone”

  • “The citizens and businesses of Adams Morgan, the Adams Morgan BID and various concerned stakeholders that provided information by either telephone or internet.”

    -Why Adams Morgan? Simple answer – the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Anonymous rants on a listserv may make people feel better, but they are a poor substitute for an organized large-scale campaign to get more law enforcement resources deployed in your area. Adams Morgan is getting this because “the citizens and businesses, the Adams Morgan BID and various concerned stakeholders” organized and demanded it. When the same coalition comes together in Columbia Heights, Petworth, Shaw – whatever neighborhood, the same can happen.

    Like the Man said “Don’t Hate, Participate.”

    • Bingo. The residents off of Mintwood, Ontario, and surrounding areas got together and stepped up their game. They have always been vocal opponents of most of the Adams Morgan activity, but the recent increase in violence (some of it captured and posted around the Internet) has prodded the police to do more.

    • see e.g., the adams morgan listserv

  • I think they’re going to Adams Morgan in force because there’s a video up of a crowd of people laughingly encouraging a guy to duke it out with a cop, for sport.

    I live by 14th and Spring but frankly this is more important. There will never be enough cops to police a city where people want to fight cops for fun. That’s a contagion that has to be stopped: that’s a riot waiting to happen.

    They’ve been out in force at 14th & Spring before. They can come back when they’ve got Adams Morgan under control.

  • What is means is some police will be forced to work on their days off and have less time with spend with their families.

  • Protect the Reef, Bedrock, Perry’s, Cashion’s and Napoleon. The rest can hang.

  • People like the Reef? interesting.

  • can anyone write in mpd?

    “Over the next few weekends, MPD will deploy more officers and resources into the Adams Morgan area THAN seen in many years.”

    sheesh, spell check should have caught that.

  • I don’t feel like there should be this “my neighborhood first” mentality. There has definitely been a serious increase in violent crime over the last two weeks in CH. No dispute there. The violence in AM is a long-standing problem. 14th and U St. has seen a resurgence of violence that goes back to late 90’s levels. Chinatown has major security issues on weekends and H St. is the fucking Tet offensive on weekends. There are massive danger zones in every ward of this city.

    CH, I feel, is more spread out with pockets of places where people congregate. If you were to look at the night life options in CH, they are spread way out. Wonderland, MP, The Derbs, The Getaway, The Heights, and Lou’s Shity Bar are all spread way the hell out. That being said, severe violent crimes can happen at all of them. Wonderland had armed gunman recently, MP and Room 11 had serious vandalism where thankfully no one was hurt, and The Derby is dealing with the fallout of Piping 2011. Any pocket of population is a target of opportunity.

    In contrast, AM is a concentrated area whose population triples during the hours of 11-3AM Friday and Saturday night. That makes it a thugs bonanza. I live in AM, just enough off the beaten path that I don’t deal with much spill over. I also spent over ten years working in the service industry in AM. Eight of those ten years were spent as the rooftop bartender at The Reef on Saturdays. That gave me the best view on the street of all the mayhem. I have seen fights, shootings, stabbings, muggings, armed robberies, and a slew of other crimes take place in AM during that time. The problem, as I see it, is the ability for criminals to come into the neighborhood and prey on folks. Most of the violence that happens in this time frame is not drunken suburbanites acting the fool. It’s drunken suburbanite responding to the loiterers. Drunk or sober, you call my wife a whore and we will have words. MPD is so overwhelmed in AM that they let certain levels of crime take place out in the open with no repercussions. 5 on 5 fight, no problem. Standing out front of Bossa cat calling women and baiting men into fights, no problem. Park your car and jam out on the $8,000 stereo in your trunk at 3 AM, welcome! The reason MPD can’t police this is because every time they DO say turn the music off and leave, some gets mugged or worse.

    I feel there is a solution for AM though. A concentrated police presence in AM is a start. The next thing to do is to stop all traffic on 18th st from 11PM-4AM. Remove all ability to drive that stretch of road during peak times and criminals will have a harder time getting here. Then park a charter bus right out front of The Diner. Sexually assault a woman, get on the bus. Sucker punch a tourist, get on the bus. Jam out to Britney’s new album at max volume after an officer has told you to turn it off, get on the bus. Fight a citizen on the street like a boxer instead of arresting him, badge and gun please…..and get the fuck on the bus. When it is all said and done drive said bus to central holding and let the occupants enjoy their weekend. Do this a few months in a row and watch the BS start to dwindle. We need criminals to feel uncomfortable there. Make them not want to come because of the hassle and watch the crime rate drop. Someone else mentioned this earlier but also drop a curfew enforcement team right around the corner of, ohhh I don’t know, 17th and Euclid. All of these would have an immediate impact.

    While there is also a solution for CH, this one is a tougher fix. The high-density rate is not there and targets of opportunity are much more spread out. We could start by parking units at known problem areas. Like a patrol car constantly driving the block of 14th and Spring. I would also station more Bike Officers along 14th between Irving and Spring on constant patrol. Enforce the law as rigorously here in CH as you would in AM. The difference I believe is that in CH a lot of these crimes are perpetrated by citizens of CH. Which brings me to last point, and one that applies to EVERY neighborhood in the city. BE INVOVLVED. As a city we have allowed the criminals to dictate the terms of safety and lawlessness. WE have to say that this is unacceptable. Police your own neighborhoods. I’m not saying go vigilante, or carry a gun, or form neighborhood hit squads. I’m saying be vigilant, report crimes, and confront the perps. See someone getting mugged? Call the cops and inform the mugger that you have called the cops and have his description. See a bunch of thugs selling drugs on your corner? Call the cops every time you see them, take pictures of said individuals, let them know the cops are coming. I could go on but I think we get the point. Community involvement is the only real solution. Until OUR communities make the criminals feel like they can not just operate with immunity, this will remain a problem.

    Full Disclosure: I am a 37, a white man, I live in AM, and I work in CH. I grew up in this city and its surrounding areas. I have called DC home since I was ten years old. When I reached High School age my parents moved us from 13 and Fairmont to Falls Church City so my sister and I would not attend DCPS for high school. I am a father, husband, and always an advocate for The District and its people. Flame on!

  • God this makes me glad I don’t live there or waste my time going there.

    • It’s a nice place most of the time – but yeah, for now it’s best to avoid after 10 on Friday and Saturday thanks in large part (but surely not entirely) to the MD and VA crowd.

  • It’s important to do this in Adams Morgan because people from outlying states (MD and VA) come in to DC and treat it as their robbing, pissing, drunk driving, fighting grounds while the people of the neighborhood have to sit back and watch. Why should we have our houses pissed on, windows smashed, cars hit, etc because a small group of poorly behaved individuals come to Adams Morgan and think this is a lawless land (it truly is Thursday-Saturday nights, police don’t come when called)? If more roadblocks were set up on streets leaving Adams Morgan then perhaps people would think twice about driving here from MD and VA and bringing their BS with them. I for one used to spend my money in Adams Morgan (since I live there) but no longer enjoy dealing with the crap that comes along with it.

  • I don’t think it is a my neighborhood first mentality as much as a bit of outrage and frustration that the violence in Columbia Heights has not evoked any type of visible response from the leadership of the city. We are at shooting in broad daylight territory over here and the city leaders have been absent and silent. That is where the outrage comes from. Not actually directed at Adams Morgan or its residents. Agree with the sentiment that brazen lawlessness should not be tolerated anywhere in the city.

    • I agree. Where is Mr. Bowtie and Vince the Vampire. Maybe the two of them should hit the streets and get a feel for their constituency. They may be surprised to learn that people are scared and pissed off. It seems obvious but apparently the two and many others in power couldn’t be bothered.

  • In my experience the people up to no good aren’t the drunken bar patrons (not saying they are all innocent) but the loiterers who hang out on the sidewalks waiting for drunk girls to walk by or get in line for jumbo slice so they can play grab ass or yell something sexual and unclever at them. These people are too broke to actually afford a drink at any of these places (you would need a job to do that) so of course they’re going to be the ones popping cars and mugging unsuspecting drunk people for some cash. If the extra cops can curb some of that then I’m all for it

  • I am interested in calling all Adams Morgan Neighbors to come and support this: LETS ALL STAND by the tennis courts with flashlights, this Friday and Saturday evening 1AM to 2AM (IN SILENCE) just Your Flashlights. IN SILENCE. Pass this message anyone in ADMO

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