Ward 4 To Get “Shot Spotter” Technology

I’m Pretty Impressed With Councilmember Muriel Bowser.  This is what she wrote on the Petworth listserv last Friday:

“Dear Neighbors-

Tragically, we had a shooting in our community this afternoon on Kennedy Street . The victim’s injuries appear to be non life threatening. I join all of you in being extremely concerned about this and other crimes plaguing our neighborhoods.

I’ve discussed this disturbing spike in crime in a town hall meeting in Petworth and most recently in a community walk and crime meeting in Takoma, wherein we largely focused on youth violence and street robberies/muggings. In each case, we were joined by top police staff and the community to identify Action Plans that would prevent further violence and arrest and punishment of perpetrators. Additionally, I’ve participated in numerous neighborhood meetings where we’ve focused on specific crime issues. And just two weeks ago, I was joined by a resident for a complete briefing by Chief Lanier, 4D Command, Homicide Unit and Detective Unit at Police Headquarters where we received a complete briefing.” Apparently we will be getting “shotspotter technology” soon. She details what MPD is going after the jump.

Here’s what MPD is doing:

-Established an undercover robbery tactical unit to patrol high-incident areas. This unit is 100% focused on robberies and stolen autos and are not diverted to other police calls.

-Improved Deployment. Acting Commander Linda Brown determined that Police Service Areas 402, 403, and 404 were the areas where the most robbery activity was identified. Each of these service areas were assigned an additional lieutenant to better monitor activity and deploy police resources where needed on November 25, 2007.

-Adjusted Patrol Hours: Acting Commander Brown will adjust patrol hours in PSA 401 and 403 to respond to crime trends beginning December 16, 2007.

-Technology. I’m securing funding, part of the 2008 surplus, for shot spotter technology for the Fourth District. The technology will be installed in 4D to immediately detect sounds of gun fire to improve police response time to incidents and also help police identify problem areas. The Light tower is also being deployed by Commander where needed.

-Additional Community Policing Resources- Secured One 4D location as “High Impact Area” where intense/targeted police resources will be deployed along with other City resources, including Department of Employment Services, Human Services, Parks and Recreation, DC Public Schools, and DCRA.

-Results to Date. In October 2007 and November 2007 4D experienced 74 and 70 robberies each month, respectively. In the first 14 days of December 2007, we’ve had 19 robberies which suggests a real decrease this month and that changed strategies are having an impact.

-Arrests Highlights. Police arrested one suspect who they have linked to 13 robberies in the Takoma area. Another suspect has been arrested who they believe is responsible for home burglaries in Brightwood. There remain too many unsolved homicides and gun-related incidences in 4D and throughout the City.

-Legislative Solutions. The rampant availability and use of guns in our community is appalling. We are working on ways to deter and punish crimes with guns.

We are always keeping a close eye on issues, attending community meetings and working with the Police and other City agencies to bring the resources we need to the community.

Please keep me posted of your concerns.


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