“Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser released the following statement in support of MPD Chief Cathy Lanier:
“After 25 years of policing DC streets, deploying officers and strategies, and building a force of highly qualified officers and leaders, in the good times and the tough times, too, I have every confidence in Chief Lanier.”
From the DC Police Union:
Members of the DC Police Union were asked the following question:
“Do you have confidence that Chief Cathy Lanier is able to properly manage the resources of the Metropolitan Police Department and keep the citizens safe?”
The members had the choice of answering YES or NO.
1,150 members responded to the poll and 1,122 answered NO, they do not have confidence in Chief Lanier‘s ability to manage MPD and keep the citizens of the District safe.
That‘s an overwhelming 97.5% that answered NO; they DO NOT have confidence in the Chief‘s leadership.”
There’s been a lot of talk, understandably, here about crime lately so I wanted to know what folks thought about the Mayor’s new Safer, Stronger DC legislative campaign? The highlights are above but you can read a more complete version in the PDF below:
The District has lost the lives of 103 residents to homicide in 2015. Every life is precious, every loss is tragic. And we do not sit idly by as our community suffers.
Over the past few weeks, I have updated you on the increase in violent crime in DC, and what my Administration is doing to address it. We have put more police officers on our streets, walking beats. With the support of the community, we have ramped up our efforts to find and arrest criminals, resulting in a higher crime closure rate than most cities our size. We developed new strategies to fight synthetic drugs. And we launched initiatives to strengthen the relationship between MPD officers and the community – including our Body Worn Camera program.
I want to thank my public safety team and our law enforcement officers, who are working around the clock to keep DC safe.
We are acting with vigor and we are making progress. And there is more we will do. Today, I announced a public safety agenda that will make DC safer and stronger. The agenda, which you can view HERE, includes a number of legislative and administrative measures that will help us prevent crime, and address crime when it happens. Be sure to continue to check mayor.dc.gov/saferstronger for updates.
Though the Ward 1 Council Member has written: “I do not think they help us achieve the long term, sustained outcome we truly want for the District.”, yesterday’s poll results are in with 85% supporting, what the police union has requested, the return of vice squads.
The Mayor will release her “Agenda to Fight Crime” later this morning:
“On Thursday, August 27 at 10:30 a.m., Mayor Muriel Bowser will provide remarks on her fall public safety agenda at the former Malcolm X Elementary School, at 1351 Alabama Avenue, SE.
At the event, Mayor Bowser will outline legislative proposals that will help prevent and address violent crime in the District.”
“I think this part of Council Member Nadeau’s email from yesterday may have gone relatively unnoticed:
I have recently been asked to weigh in on proposals to temporarily bring back the MPD Vice Squad, also known as “jump out squads.” The practices employed by them, which involves officers pulling up to a location and arresting a group of people, have been retired by MPD, and have been widely criticized. I cannot support these proposals, and I do not think they help us achieve the long term, sustained outcome we truly want for the District. When violence and drug activity were at their worst, what made the biggest difference was residents partnering with MPD, taking back their blocks and being part of the solution.
From the Government of the District of Columbia Department of Health:
“**WEST NILE VIRUS/MOSQUITO PRESENCE IN THE DISTRICT **
Thursday, August 20, 2015
The District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed a single human case of West Nile Virus in the District. DOH and its health and medical partners are closely monitoring the well-being of the District of Columbia resident who has since improved and been released from a local hospital. A West Nile Virus human case has been identified during the summer months for the last three consecutive years.
DOH is advising residents and visitors to be mindful of the presence of mosquitoes during the warm summer months when mosquitoes are most active. Mosquitoes can transmit diseases including the West Nile Virus to humans and animals. DOH will continue to conduct its Arbovirus Surveillance and Response Plan, including the West Nile Surveillance Program, in all eight wards of the District. The program, conducted yearly, includes surveillance, prevention, control and response components.
Residents are encouraged to help protect against mosquito bites by: (more…)
“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host a public meeting for the Klingle Valley Trail Project in Ward 3 on Thursday, August 20, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm. The project will convert Klingle Road NW between Cortland Place and Porter Street into a pedestrian and bicycle trail using green infrastructure components such as permeable pavement and bioretention ponds. The project will also restore eroded segments of Klingle Creek and rebuild drainage structures along the trail. At this meeting DDOT will review the project timeline, construction phasing, and key design components based on feedback previously gathered from community stakeholders.
Klingle Road NW was closed between Cortland Place NW and Porter Street NW following a severe flood event in 1991. The Klingle Valley Trail will provide safe public access to this section of Rock Creek Park for the first time in 25 years.
District Department of Transportation
Thursday, August 20 at 6:30-8 pm
Cleveland Park Public Library
3310 Connecticut Ave NW”
It is with great sadness that I received the news that the city plans to take over the Flea at Eastern Market that Mike Berman and Diverse Managements, LLC have spent years creating and running smoothly.
Mr. Berman and his team have put their hearts and souls into this weekly market. They’ve created an amazing weekly gathering of the city’s most vibrant, diverse, and talented vendors. They have survived many challenges in over 30 years to do this. All the while, Mr.Berman and his team have shown the utmost concern and fairness to all their vendors. Many years of honorable service and fairness are being ignored by the Department of General Services’ decision to terminate Mr.Berman’s contract.
In what way can the city justify suddenly seizing the creation and livelihood of Mr. Berman and the 15 people he currently employs?
They have been given notice that in two months, the City will be the running their section of the market. The members of Mr.Berman’s team have been involved with the market from the beginning. For many of them, it is their life’s work. For decades, the weekly market has been their livelihood. I’m sorry to overuse that word, but there is no other way to put it. These people have given so much to this market and now everything they have built is being taken from them. Imagine working somewhere for over 30 years and doing a great job at it and then suddenly being told that in two months, your position is being taken. Is this the way that the city wants to treat the people who have spent their lives creating the Flea at Eastern Market, an institution that does nothing but benefit the community (through incubating small businesses, bringing people together, supporting local farms and artists, outreach for the homeless, etc)?
Management of the 300 block of 7th Streetmay offer a slight revenue increase to the currently city run Eastern Market, but it is taking away an entire world for the hard-working people who have made this market what it is today.
The decision from the Department of General Services has come with no warning at all. Mr.Berman and his vendors have just survived an incredibly challenging displacement by the Hines School development project. Mr.Berman and his team were able to engineer the best layout and logistical strategy to protect and maintain the livelihood of the vendors that have been under his management for many years. This was not easy and now that the hard-work has been done, the city has announced its seizure.
At best, this is a very thoughtless and irresponsible move by the DGS. But to many, it feels much worse.
“Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Cathy Lanier re-launched the District’s illegal gun initiative, which seeks the public’s help to identify violent offenders who carry illegal firearms. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) currently offers a $1,000 reward to anyone who has information that can lead them to an illegal firearm. Mayor Bowser and Chief Lanier announced new reward amounts of up to $2,500 for a tip leading to an arrest and a seizure of an illegal gun (from $1,000) and up to $10,000 for a tip leading to an arrest and conviction in a shooting (from $1,000).
“Illegal firearms are responsible for most homicides in the District. And illegal guns continue to make their way into the hands of violent criminals,” said Mayor Bowser. “Our police department is making progress – but they cannot do it alone. Many of these illegal guns have high capacity magazines, which inflict maximum damage on victims, their families and our neighborhoods. With the public’s help, we can get illegal firearms off the streets.”
By helping MPD seize illegal guns, residents can help prevent more tragedies. Someone who would like to report an illegal gun, or who has information about ANY crime, should call 202.727.9099. When you call, you are not obligated to identify yourself. Alternatively, you can text an anonymous tip to 50411.
“Our actions are clear: we need to get illegal guns off the street so people aren’t put in harm’s way,” said Police Chief Lanier. “We are encouraging residents to step up and do the right thing by submitting tips that lead to the seizure of illegal guns.”
So far this year, MPD has taken 944 illegal guns off the street.”
A letter from the mayor announcing the new campaign: (more…)
“With homicides in the District quickly approaching triple digit numbers, shootings and armed robberies skyrocketing, and gun violence raging through all quadrants of the city, immediate measures need to be taken to address this epidemic.
In January of 2015, one of Chief Lanier’s directives went into effect that all vice investigations be turned over to a centralized narcotics unit. While the district vice units continued to exist, their responsibilities dwindled. A few months later, they were ordered to operate in full uniform, thus hamstringing their ability to conduct effective operations. At the end of May 2015, vice was disbanded completely and most officers were sent back to patrol. This is when crime began to spiral out of control.
The DC Police Union believes the dismantling of the district vice units is one of the main contributors to our current inability to combat rampant gun violence. Drug dealers and gang members have taken advantage of this lack of enforcement. Officers who patrol and residents who live in or frequent some of these volatile neighborhoods will tell you that the open air drug markets are flourishing, spurring unchecked violence between the factions fighting for control over the drugs, guns, and money.
The Union is calling for the Mayor and the Chief of Police to immediately reinstate district level vice units. Chief Lanier has stated that the spike in murders is caused by drugs, high capacity firearms, and now gambling. This is exactly the type of enforcement that the vice units were tasked with and successfully suppressed until they were disbanded earlier this year. We are calling for 100 members—10 to 12 officers per district, 1 sergeant, and 1 lieutenant—to be immediately detailed to a 90 day assignment to district vice offices. This would provide a rapid response and deployment to the most affected neighborhoods, directly addressing the violence and crime that is surging right now.
Of course the question is where these officers would come from, considering the Union has been highlighting the manpower issues in the department. But the current deployment strategies being employed are nothing short of an embarrassment and are not fooling anyone. Fixed posts, light towers, pop-up canopies? This city needs proactive policing, not scarecrows on the corner. At an evening roll call in the Seventh District last week, 22 assignments were given out, 18 were fixed posts—officers ordered to stand at a location and not move from it lest they be disciplined. The Union believes that a portion of these officers can be repurposed into district vice units to begin instantaneous interdiction of violence and start apprehending the persons responsible for these crimes.
Please stand with our officers and demand that enforcement and investigation of these crimes begin immediately. We have highly trained and motivated officers who want to protect your families and our communities. Tell Mayor Bowser and Chief Lanier that you want effective policing in your neighborhood, not security guards.”