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Discussion about the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood
Joined: 23 Mar 2004
|Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:54 pm Post subject: PSA Minutes to December 2005 Meeting
|NEXT MEETING TONIGHT: Jan. 10th, 2006, 7 PM Mt. Pleasant Library
Community Police Meeting
PSA 301/Mt. Pleasant
December 13, 2005
PSA Meeting - Notes
I. Introductions, Welcome & Convenience Information:
Approximately 10 residents were in attendance as well as a reporter from the City Paper, Edward O’Connell (who is one of the new 3rd District Community Prosecutors), Terri Kelly from the National Crime Prevention Council, Marco Santiago (MPD Community Relations), and various MPD officers from the PSA including Lt. David Sledge.
Additionally, Mitchell Backfield, the newly elected ANC Commissioner for ANC1D02 was recognized and introduced himself.
Holiday Tree Decorating & Lighting Event -Dec.11, 2005:
Officers were thanked for their participation in the Holiday Tree Decorating & Lighting Event at Lamont Park on December 11, 2005. Radio Sol 99.1 FM representatives also came by and some photos of the officers and the event were supposed to be put up on their website.
ANC Commercial Corridor Committee Mtg - Jan.2, 2005:
It was announced that the ANC would be holding a Commercial Corridor Committee Mtg On Monday, Jan. 2, 2005 from 6:30 to 8:30pm. People at the meeting were unsure as to whether the meeting would be at La Casa or at the Library.
Reg. ANC Mtg. - Jan. 3, 2005: 7pm at La Casa
III. Future Operation Fightback ?
Lt. Sledge asked for comment/input from the community about ideas for another Operation Fightback in the near future.
For those unfamiliar with Operation Fightback, a short overview of what is an Operation Fightback was provided.
Operation Fight Back” is a concentrated, multi-agency strategy designed to tackle stubborn crime and disorder problems in specific neighborhoods throughout DC. The strategy involves a number of different approaches, including serving arrest warrants, conducting safety checkpoints, carrying out building and business inspections, towing abandoned vehicles, cleaning up trash and reaching out to residents in the community, or any other strategies may be implemented to tackle a particular community problem.
In August 2005, PSA 301 implemented an Operation Fightback focused on Domestic Violence Officers together with other community service representatives set up a table with information about Domestic Violence in front of the BestWay grocery store on Mt. Pleasant St. and spoke to passersby and those going in and out of the store about domestic violence issues. The goal was to increase awareness and to inform people of what they can do if they are aware of domestic violence or are themselves a victim of it.
On another date in the same month, MPD officers knocked on doors of The Woodner Apt. Building talking to residents about domestic violence. The Woodner was targeted because of the record number of repeat calls for service for domestic violence.
In October 2005, another Operation Fightback was implemented. This time the Operation Fightback focused on the clean up of a site where crime continually occurs - the Irving-Harvard Triangle site - a sloped unimproved area which is triangular shaped bordered by Irving & Harvard Streets and the Harvard Towers Apartment Building, next to the intersection of Irving, Harvard, and Kenyon Streets, and Adams Mill Rd.
This 2nd Operation Fightback event/Clean Up was held on Saturday, October 15, 2005, from 8:30am to 12:30 pm.
The attendees were asked to provide ideas for another Operation Fightback.
Some of the ideas mentioned were:
One focused on the youth since many crimes are being committed by juveniles; or
An Operation Fightback focused a radius from the metro since many robberies are centered around that area of 14th St and the walk from the metro to Mt. Pleasant can be dangerous at times - with such operation done jointly with PSA 302 since the metro is not in PSA 301.
IV. Operation Live Link - Overview & Report & Assessment
For those new faces in the room, an overview of Operation Live Link was provided. As part of National Night Out program which takes place nation wide on the first Tuesday of August each year, neighborhoods may also choose to participate in Project 365. Project 365 is where the community picks a project to run from one National Night Out to the next one a year later. The project is related to public safety and could involve the clean up of an area that attracts crime, it could be a strategy to reduce drug dealing at a particular corner, or whatever else the community would like it to be related to public safety. This year, after various PSA meetings on the subject, the Operation LiveLink program was chosen.
Operation Live Link is a new program that has never before been done in the city It is being piloted in Mt. Pleasant. Operation Live Link means that the residents in Mt. Pleasant have a direct link to police officers patrolling the neighborhood between the hours of 6pm and 10pm daily. Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Alliance donated 2 cell phones and the cell phone service for two officers.
There are 3 basic rules for using Operation LiveLink:
1) You must first call 911 or 311 before using Operation Live Link to report the suspicious activity or crime.
2) You must identify yourself to the officer you are calling when you use Live Link
3) Then you may describe the suspicious behavior, activity, crime, persons involved, etc. to the officer you are calling.
The mission and objectives of Operation LiveLink are to strengthen community police relations by creating the direct line of communication between officers and residents It is believed that good community police relations mean a safer neighborhood
V. Operation LiveLink Overview & Report & Assessment
A campaign is underway to disseminate the information about Operation LiveLink as widely as possible. Residents attending the meeting were encourage to pick up the flyers on Operation LiveLink and post them up in their apartment buildings and pass the information on to their neighbors. Residents were encouraged to plug the phone numbers into the memory of their cell phones and to post the number by their telephone at home or plug it into their speed dial.
The Operation LiveLink phone numbers are:
Foot patrol officer -- tel. 202.689.4277
Scout Car officer - tel. 202.690.4278
It was also pointed out that if you do not get an answer on one line then to call the other. One resident had asked that if they live in the far western part of the neighborhood furthest from Mt. Pleasant St., should they be calling the scout car number only. It was pointed out that if the scout car number is not answered then they should still try the foot beat officer, as it is possible for the foot beat officer to directly radio a scout car to respond.
Also, if you do not get an answer and the officers are occupied then you are encouraged to leave a voice mail, as the officers will also check the voice mail regularly
Officer Quiles is the foot beat officer who has the phone most of the time and Officer Pitt would usually have the scout car phone.
Officer Quiles indicated that the volume of calls has increased. He said that he gets a significant number of calls from business establishments along Mt. Pleasant St.
Quiles added that now that the cold weather has arrived, more people go in to business establishments, so this is a time that they are facing more issues with disorerlies, etc., whereas in good weather they are happening usually out in the street.
Officer Quiles indicated that none of the calls received through Operation LiveLink in the past month led to an arrest.
Quiles said that while a higher number of calls that lead to an arrest could be seen as a sign of the system working, so too are a lack of calls that lead to arrest He said that because of LiveLink he can catch an incident when it is just starting to brew rather than when it has already blown up into an assault or some other event that means arrest.
Officer Quiles has continued to give out information on Operation LiveLink. He was also promised business cards with the information on LiveLink to hand out.
Quiles also said that he gets a number of calls that are out of the time of operation of the Operation LiveLink program, like at 10:15 in the morning instead of during the 6pm to 10pm operating hours. He said he’s had about 10 to 15 calls in the last month that were outside the time frame.
Doing more outreach and the need for constant and continual outreach and education on the program was also discussed.
297 minutes of calls were logged in the past month, which is considerably higher than the previous month’s calls.
Having officers keep a log of calls was discussed so that there could be better reporting and better assessment of how the program is going and how well it is being utilized. Residents expressed interest in having this information and officers said they would try to do so.
VI. ANC Report
It was noted that the ANC Chair, Jack McKay, had sent a letter to Lt. Sledge and Inspector Burke requesting to have the slot of time for the ANC to speak to be removed from the PSA meeting agenda.
McKay’s letter stated:
“No ANC Commissioner can state a position that could be attributed to the ANC without first having that position affirmed by a vote of the members of the Commission The pertinent rule is, "All written communications that could be construed to represent the views of the Commission must be approved by a majority of the Commission". While not "written", any statement during this allotted time at the PSA meeting would surely be taken to be a formal ANC position. Hence, neither I nor any other Commissioner can speak for the ANC at the PSA meeting, absent approval by the Commission.”
Mitchell Backfield, the newly elected ANC Commissioner, filling the vacant position for ANC1D02 was recognized and introduced himself. He stated that he was not authorized to speak on behalf of the ANC at the meeting.
The Lieutenant and others responded saying that there was no need for the ANC to have a resolution or a vote for any of the commissioners of the ANC to address any issues or concerns that they have or those that are of their constituents in their SMD.
Backfield asked about the robbery that occurred on Brown Street in the past month. The Lt. Said that this was a robbery where a woman was assaulted with gun and refused to give up her bag - CCN #163112, occurred on 12/2/05 at 3422 Brown St, at 11:35am. Officer Harrell was the reporting officer. Backfield asked what was being done about this.
Backfield also asked about the status of calls for service at the Woodner. Officer Quiles indicated that the calls for service originating from the Woodner have decreased. On the first shift there were usually maybe 2 or 3 calls, where now there is about 1 call per day.
Backfield also mentioned that right before the Brown Street assault when he was posting ANC agendas in the area, he saw 4 officers ride by in one car on the same block as the robbery. Backfield said he knew police couldn’t be everywhere at all times, but he asked about foot patrol -- would a foot patrol in that area be of help or would it be possible?
Lt. Sledge stated that the permanent foot beat decisions are made by the Commander and the Inspector.
VII. CSOSA - no CSOSA Report this month
VIII. Crime Reports
Lt. Sledge indicated that November we saw a decrease in robberies.
Lt. Sledge said that there were 5 reported robberies in the month of November (considerably down from the 15 that occurred in October).
3 robberies occurred in the Park Road corridor between Mt. Pleasant & 16th Streets. Between 6pm and 2am.
There was a carjacking in broad daylight. The suspect was looking for an opportunity; fortunately the carjacking victim was not physically injured. Suspect is black male between 18 to 23, 5’8”, 210 lbs., hooded jacket
Officers had recovered the car, a gun (it was a BB gun) and drugs inside the car
One of the highest incidences of crime occurs with thefts from auto.
The 4 robberies were described as follows:
On 11/6 at 12:40am, at 3150 16th St., 2 Hispanic males approached the victim
On 11/8 at 1:49 am at 16th & Park Rd with gun
On 11/15, midnight, Mt. Pleasant & Park Rd.
On 11/29 - midnight shift , 6:45am, 16th & Park Rd. , force & violence, assailant snatched purse, suspect black male, 20’s, 5’7” with dread locks
7 reported burglaries occurred in the past month
3300 16th St.
1750 Lamont St.
3149 Mt. Pleasant St. (domestic case, x-boyfriend, assault involved)
3332 19th St.
3636 16th St. on 11/4, laptop and DVD stolen
1730 Hobart on 11/15, suspect entered broken rear door, black male, 5’11” with dread locks seen fleeing the scene
1723 Kenyon St., crime occurred 10/1, was reported 11/15, suspect construction worker, stolen was an antique clock
One of the residents asked whether residents should report attempted burglaries and Lt. Sledge said YES!! He said that it is always important to call in and report an attempted burglary (if it just happened call 911/if it was days after then 311); the information could lead to arrest. The suspect may leave one resident’s location and go burglarize another so the information could be valuable.
Foot Beat Report: Officer Quiles reported that there was a decrease in runs mostly due to the weather. He said that now with the cold weather there are lots of family disputes inside houses. Overall, he said that the crime stats are down and we were looking good this month.
Shipe Case: Lead investigator Patterson was contacted recently and Lt. Sledge said that not have anything new to report. The reward Monty continues to be $25,000 for any leads or info leading to an arrest and conviction. The case remains open.
IX Edward O’Connell - Community Prosecutor, 3rd District, US District Attorney’s Office
Mr. O’Connell introduced himself. He said he is one of 2 new Community Prosecutors staffed by the US District Attorney’s Office over the last year or so.
Mr. O’Connell said that there are 3 major crimes that they see: burglaries, robberies, and theft from auto. If anyone is arrested for one of these crimes then the defendant must be debriefed. There is no plea till he and his attorney agree to sit with the police and allow police to pick the defendant’s brain about who he knows and possibly what other crimes he knows about.
Mr. O’Connell said that in other parts of the city some of these crimes may only be misdemeanors but here in the 3rd District they are felonies
O’Connell said that he is relatively new to the job and so he could not report back yet how successful that debriefing has been thus far.
O’Connell said that before he was a grand jury assistant and he had a ton of cases that could not be plead. He said he thought that this debriefing has been more successful with robberies.
O’Connell said that he would be happy to hear from the community and if anyone had any questions or comments that they were encouraged to contact him by phone or drop him a line by email. His contact information is as follows:
Edward O’Connell, Tel. 202.514.5156 at his office or email to: Edward.O’[email address removed - log in to view]
X Inspector Burke
Burke mentioned to Backfield that they could talk about metro foot beats for Brown, Oak, Newton & 16th St. areas.
Burke mentioned that Chief Ramsey had set in place a crime emergency last Friday for the city. He said at their recent meeting they talked about crime issues in the city and in a 30 day period in the entire city there were 24 homicides and 364 robberies!
Burke said that a Crime Emergency gives Commanders greater powers to adjust work shifts for personnel.
Burke said that 7pm to 3am are huge hours for crime, so 3rd District implemented that 25% of day workers were shifted to the 6pm to 2am shift.
Burke said that Vice is working with them, focus mission teams are out working, doing strict enforcement of curfews, etc.
The Cavalier Apt. Building, at 3500 14th Street is a major problem. It had 3 shootings emanating from there, 2 DW arrests there just this week. They are working with OAG on this treating it as a nuisance property.
5 people shot last week on the 1300 block of Columbia Rd.
Targeting quality of life offenses , targeting traffic stops, etc. to try to apprehend criminals
2 guns tonight taken and at 1500 P St. a shot gun was recovered
3rd District had 22 robbery arrests over last 30 days -- Burke said that 3D crushed the other districts as far as arrests go.
A 3rd District Detective was shot a few days ago and was just released, Tom Rosenberg.
Burke said that they are picking up truants every single day. They are working with parents but said it is difficult in dealing with the juveniles because of so many restrictions in place to maintain their privacy.
Someone asked about if it is normal to see so many officers in one car. Burke said that there are more officers in cars and since there are more officers out on patrol sometimes not enough cars, so that is why sometimes you see several in one car.
XI Community Discussion with Officers & National Crime Prevention Council Representative
Terri Kelly from the National Crime Prevention Council was at the meeting to talk about crime prevention. Ms. Kelly also brought with her many different types of brochures on crime prevention dealing with different crime scenarios, some addressing seniors, some addressing apartment buildings, etc..
Ms. Kelly said that most people know of the National Crime Prevention Council through McGruff the Crime Dog.
Ms. Kelly said that main fundamental that she would like to get across is that the police can’t be everywhere at one time, so it is important for citizens to understand the responsibility they have also for crime prevention which is just as critical and then to take that awareness and seeing citizens share it with others
Ms. Kelly said it is important to not be cavalier. Crime can happen to each of us. Run if your instincts tell you that you need to get away or if you hear someone yelling for help, be aware.
She also added that citizens should take the time to get to know their neighbors on either side of them, so that you have someone you can feel comfortable with knocking on the door for help if necessary
She added to trust your instincts.
Ms. Kelly suggested that citizens take holiday time or the spring-forward/fall-back time to assess their home security.
Ms. Kelly reiterated the importance of getting to know your neighbors and said that that comfort of knowing your neighbors makes the difference in making one feel safe or unsafe.
She encourage community groups to take the brochures she had and pass them out in the community. She said that the brochures could be localized and they are available in pdf form and you can go to the National Crime Prevention Council website to download their brochures also.
A resident commented that there should be more people coming to the police-community meetings as the information to be obtained at this meeting is critical and is useful to residents.
Ms. Kelly responded that it is not quantity of people that is the best goal. She said that not everybody has the same level of awareness and that those who come to the meetings can do great things just by passing on the information that was given out at the meetings. The first step is awareness and then the 2nd step is involvement she said. We each need to do our best to make our neighbors aware. Involvement comes naturally afterwards. And she added that everyone’s level of involvement may be very different.
Another resident asked what more we could do to reach out. It was mentioned that minutes to the meeting were being sent out and distributed after the PSA meeting each month to update those who didn’t attend.
Someone commented that by giving out the meeting notes from previous meetings that residents don’t have incentive then to actually physically go to the meeting
Ms. Kelly responded to that saying that it does a great service, once again, to make people aware. That is critical and vital a task to get the information out there and help people become aware. Not everyone can come to meetings, although ideally it would be nice to have greater involvement at the community police meetings.
Ms. Kelly said that the DC MPD was given 3 additional McGruff costumes recently to be used throughout the city. The character has a lot of name recognition and she encouraged police and community groups to take advantage of that.
Ms. Kelly added that the National Crime Prevention Council does have a lot of brochures in Spanish as well as English.
Ms. Kelly said that the National Crime Prevention Council just began a new Partnership Program with Metro to address pick pocketing on buses and trains.
Also Kelly mentioned that they have a new tool -- a video -- which has several vignettes directed to young people addressing youth interaction with others in situations such as shoplifting, a traffic stop, etc. It is meant to demonstrate to juveniles that how they respond to the officers drives how the officers will respond to them
Young people get info on how to handle themselves and they learn that police and authorities are not looking at them as whole demographic that is the problem.
Ms. Kelly said that she would be happy to come back and walk through scenarios with us5 to 16 block areas where there is a high concentration of crime.
Kelly discussed the importance of working out a way of communicating quickly with your neighbors if there is an emergency or maybe it may be just about a trend on crime -- the National Crime Prevention Council has tips and strategies for building critical communication networks with neighbors in a community.
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