55 Comment

  • Instead of a security patrol, how about we all chip in to hire a Private Investigator to help neighborhoods identify all of the young gangster thugs that control their turf through violence and do crap like randomly beat nice people for fun. Or something like this…


    • The police know exactly who the troublemakers are. What, if anything, they do with that info is a separate question.

  • An utterly useless feel-good measure. Rent-a-cops [Special Police Officers as as the city calls them] are poorly regulated and have almost no authority under DC law. The company that any neighborhood would contract with will just end up hiring some poorly trained kid paid only slightly above minimum wage to drive around, but mostly waste time playing with their phone. Good neighbors who are willing to call 911 are worth far more than any private security.

    • Sounds about like MPD. Saw an officer sitting in his police car watching a movie up near Kenyon last week. Amazing. Besides, as the recent posting about the assault at 14th & H Street NE where the victim was able to ID the suspects right after it happened, MPD chose not to arrest the identified perpetrators.

    • talula

      +1 Ontarioroader, I completely agree. This would be a complete waste of money and do nothing to help deter crime.

    • A few years back my condo association hired private guards to address a recurrent weekend vandalism problem.

      The rent-a-cops were useless: one actually was asleep on the job when the perps showed up, another time the dude who was supposed to be patolling outside was instead enjoying our lobby A/C because it was “too hot outside.”

      These are expensive services that make rich people feel safer. They do pretty much nothing to reduce crime, in my experience.

    • +1.

      In theory, “rent-a-cop” should be a great idea with the idea being that people are out rolling around neighborhoods and have alert eyes out then people will behave. Unfortunately, this in itself is not necessarily a deterrent. A good line of defense for a neighborhood community is the most valuable asset, the neighbors.

  • 8.5% of my income?

  • Yikes, no, there would be Trayvon Martin incidents every weekend.

  • As long as they are licensed to kill for Queen and country, sure. No prob.

  • I think what bothers me is that we already pay a “reasonable fee” for police service in the form of our taxes. If the service isn’t good enough or responsive, we need to hold those in charge accountable.

    If they don’t have enough money, we need to figure out why that is. For example the recent comments on the “file burning” article on City Paper showed the MPD hired some kid who is 24 and named him to a $120k/yr “deputy director” job. Til our city seriously starts cutting out the waste and getting more wualified people, we’ll keep getting more of the same.

    • It’s like the cab company Uber. The existing system should meet our needs, but it’s so poorly run and corrupt that an alternative has emerged. It reminds me of cities in India where wealthy corporations provide all the services that the local government doesn’t.

      • ah

        While Uber may work as a rough analogy, it’s not as if the neighborhoods that could afford to hire private security are the ones where MPDC’s deficiencies are most glaring.

        The problem is the opposite–wealthier neighborhoods don’t have serious crime problems for the most part. Maybe an auto theft here and a small burglary there (garage left unlocked). Meanwhile east of the Park it’s pretty unlikely too many neighborhoods are going to pony up for this, but they’re the ones that likely need it more.

        • I dunno – on my block in Columbia Heights, single family rowhouses go for over a million each, and condos are anywhere from $400,000 to $800,000. That’s wealthy by any definition fo the word, and we have more than our fair share of street crime. I get what you’re saying, though – this probably isn’t a big issue in Spring Valley.

          • You can’t assess how wealthy your neighborhood is by looking at recent home sales prices. There are families who have lived in your neighborhood for a long time, didn’t pay too much for their houses, and paid them off a long time ago, many of whom now can barely pay their property taxes. People buying homes there *now* are (for the most part) wealthy; however, with a few minor exceptions, most people on most blocks are not millionaires who just bought their houses in the past 5-6 years.

          • No. House prices, especially in this town, are not a good indicator of wealth. For all sorts of reasons.

  • No,

    As someone mentioned above, private security firms have zero authority in terms of arrest etc, so what would be the point.

    The money would be much better spent hiring a trash company to walk the sidewalks in your neighborhood once a day and pick up trash, then again most neighborhoods where this is a problem, the locals would see that and just take it as even more license to throw stuff on the street.

  • A lot of anger here and I get it. We already pay a nice chunk of change out of taxes for police. They receive training, excellent benefits, pensions, etc. Why are they not delivering? Why tolerate such bullshit graph with 120K /year jobs for someone’s kid? It’s total fucking bullshit and MPD and DC council should not be run like some kind of banana fucking republic.

    We cannot complain until each one of us who does, does so only after calling your CM, your district commander, etc..etc.. and say? What actions are you taking to stop this? The monkeys are not running the zoo…we are.

    • I gather that you are a freshman here, eager for an upperclassman’s counsel. However, just at the moment, I have drinking to do. Why don’t you stop by my bungalow, which is number fifteen, later on this afternoon, and we will discuss police scenarios and other things lit’rary.

      • I’ve read your posts before – no thanks. You’ve got a lot of stereotypical baggage against my neighborhood and the nice folk who reside here. I join my community and push for action.

  • brookland_rez

    I don’t have any issues in my neighborhood, but if I did I would hold the MPD liable before I would pay for private security.

  • Contracting for private security would be like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. The generations of teen- to middle-age unemployed — and unemployable — thugs in DC causing 99% of the violence in my neighborhood are with us for the long haul. The question is, what can we do to make the NEXT generation a little less criminal?

  • pennyworth

    my apt complex has a private firm on site 24/7 w/ gated entry …. and the community two blocks over has private patrol cars all over the place. its fine w/ me.

  • Living right across the street from the Marine barracks, I appreciate not having to pay extra for neighborhood security.

  • Bring back the Mafia! OK, not really, but in “the old days,” street crime in some areas of cities was dramatically lower because the mobbed-up guys wouldn’t tolerate it, and were . . . emphatic when expressing their displeasure.

    And before the slew of outraged responses starts, no, I’m not really serious, and yes, I’m aware that the mob caused a lot of harm, and no, I’m not really romanticizing organized crime. But when you read your upteenth story about someone getting mugged for their phone, or wallet, or because they happen to be riding a bike, or be gay, you sorta wish for someone to take steps where the cops are incapable of solving the problem. So the Mafia it is. Or Batman. Either way.

    • Or a combo (think Tony Soprano in black latex).

      • That would certainly scare me away.

        (And thanks, now I’ll have that image in my head all day.)

    • Uh, the mafia still exists in some cities. Not exactly like the way you envision it from the movies.

    • I’m pretty sure the mob doesn’t care if some punk yuppie gets beat down for walking through or living in the wrong neighborhood.

      Furthermore, the decline of the American city can be attributed in part to organized crime and corruption.

      The problem is policing is a reactive. Crime happens, somebody calls the cops, somebody might get arrested. That’s how it works. Cop sits on the side of the highway waiting for speeders to ticket to pay his salary.

      Proactive techniques would include speed cameras, cameras in neighborhoods with high crime, and in a perfect world, legalizing and regulating vice crimes like drugs and prostitution.

      Getting back to the Mafia. Violent crime was unimaginable by todays standards during prohibition. creating a high margin black market for drugs and alcohol will never stop consumption, but will always drive up violent crime and incarceration.

      • “Furthermore, the decline of the American city can be attributed in part to organized crime and corruption.”
        not really.

      • Sorry, but blanketing neighborhood with camers has been shown time and and again to not reduce crime. Waste of money.

  • Allison

    Absolutely not. The local criminal element is clearly not even afraid of the real police (thefts/assaults midday in front of police stations, etc.) they certainly won’t be afraid of what is effectively a mall cop. They’ll probably laugh at the guy as they walk away. Waste of money.

    • Hire some badass Blackwater type veterans with good judgement and crim def training who might actually make a citizen’s arrest instead of standing around watchingand doing nothing like those security guards in that videotaped Seattle bus station beating.

  • I would rather invest the money in the development of a Robocop. Or, if not a full Robocop, at least an ED-209. And a Bear Patrol, like they have in Springfield.

  • pablo .raw

    I know a building that has the “special police”. Right outside in the sidewalk, there’s people selling drugs, and once a guy pulled a knife on me. For a couple of months there was also a police car across the street from that building….

  • Looking again at the sign, I think someone needs to be patrolling for spelling.

  • uh, no. they’re about as effective as paul blart the mall cop – but at least he was able to accomplish something by the end of the movie.

    /hanging my head in shame for knowing about the movie and the ending.

  • PDleftMtP

    We had this growing up in Detroit. (Thanks, though, to everyone contributing the perspective of the suburban liberal arts major on a youthful urban adventure.) It’s like any other security guard – probably more useful for property crimes than anyone else. They actually caught some people; they also did things like check on vacant properties, show up more or less immediately when a house alarm went off, etc.. Are they going to run the bad guys out of Dodge? No. Is it possible a UPS package might last more than eight seconds on your porch? Yeah.

    Whether I thought the marginal benefit was worth it would depend on what it cost, but the benefit is not zero.

    • thanks for not being condescending.

      • PDleftMtP

        The parenthetical is one part of the reply and not aimed at everyone. But I’ll tell you what – if we get through one of these discussions without anyone saying either “well, I personally don’t think that this urban problem should exist” or “I would just give those punks what for if they tried that with me,” I’ll drop the snark.

  • the problem is in the courthouse, not with mpd.

Comments are closed.