Washington, DC

Kids will be kids but lately, there’s been enough real crime in the area (Petworth). By the police officer not stopping, there’s a lost opportunity to educate. The officer, by default a representative of our community, is clearly sending a message that this sort of behavior is condoned or something that can be gotten away with.

Still, aren’t fireworks like these illegal? And still yet, it seems like a lost opportunity for a police officer to nicely and wholeheartedly engage with the teens about why this isn’t a good idea instead of just driving by. If we all want to achieve a sense of community we need to act like one.

My big beef remains with the police response. Yes, it’s fantastic that they were around and promptly on the scene — especially on our section of Varnum. We’re one block away from the daytime mugging that happened the day before Halloween, and around the corner from one of the many shootings that recently happened. And while I’ve lately noticed more police presence around these few blocks, the police appear to just be sitting in their car(s). Outwardly it appears that they are only reactionary.

Again, I know kids will be kids (er, my husband knew they were Roman Candles because he admitted to throwing them around as a kid!) But building trust and community happens at a conversational level. Not when cops are enclosed in their cars. I’m guessing that the police felt that they did their job when the kids dispersed. But again, how does this foster a better community for all? How will teens learn not to fear cops if there is no true and real genuine engagement?

*Note, I sure as heck wasn’t going to politely address the kids since I thought they had guns…! Which, given everything that’s been happening, seemed completely plausible.”


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