30 May 2014

Letter from Tommy Wells on This Week's Community Meeting on Public Safety

In response to a recent increase in violent crime around the neighborhood, Councilmember Tommy Wells called a community meeting with MPD at the Hill Center on Wednesday night. Neighbors voiced their concerns about the level of police presence, the lack of alerts on listservs, and a lack of proper lighting on many streets.

One concern raised, which I think is felt by many in the neighborhood, is that it takes an increase in serious incidents to make any change happen. Residents want to see more proactive measures taken, rather than reactive. In response to this, The Hill is Home will try to do its part by resuming regular reporting of local crime.

As for Tommy Wells and the MPD, they want to address community concerns so please do your part in speaking out. If you see something, say something. Sign up for the MPD Yahoo Groups that are regularly updated with crime reports. And, reach out to the commander and your neighborhood PSA liaisons to ensure continued coverage in our neighborhood.

Letter from Tommy Wells:

Over the last two weeks, our community has been shocked by seemingly related violent robberies. To ensure that MPD and our community are on the same page with regard to the urgency of this problem, I organized a community gathering and invited Commanders Jeff Brown (1D) and Deirdre Porter (5D) of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to join us. With more than 75 residents in attendance, Commander Brown, Commander Porter and I provided details of the recent incidents and outlined the measures MPD is taking to combat violent crimes in our neighborhoods. Effective immediately, residents can expect to see a significant increase in foot, car and bike patrols.

On the day of the meeting, I was informed of an incident that happened near the Eastern Market Metro station and told of an overwhelming response by MPD with over eight police cars responding to the call. This scale of response is the direct result of an increase of officers patrolling our community, and indicative of the sort of presence we can all expect going forward.

Neighborhood lighting was a recurring theme—and with good reason. It is crucial not only that our communities remain safe, but that we all feel safe in them. Increased lighting promotes public safety by encouraging people to occupy public space, making it more difficult for crimes to be committed unseen. A large part of our neighborhood falls within a historic district which can make acquisition and installation of new equipment a complicated and lengthy process. However, dark areas can often be caused by light sources being blocked by untrimmed trees and foliage. I will be working with the Urban Forestry unit of the DC Department of Transportation Urban Forestry to ensure trees are not blocking lamp posts and to identify areas that could benefit from additional lighting. If you have a suggested area, please contact my Director of External Affairs, Kouri Marshall, at 202.727.8272 or kmarshall@dccouncil.us.

During the meeting, Commander Brown invited community members to sign up for the MPD First District listserv. This listserv is an incredible resource. In addition to providing daily updates on safety issues, it is a means for residents to pose questions and concerns and receive responses directly from MPD. Please sign up for this listserv by sending a note toMPD-1D@yahoogroups.com. A link to the listserv is also available on my website, www.tommywellsward6.com. In addition, the MPD-1D website (http://mpdc.dc.gov/page/welcome-first-district) also provides several public safety resources.

I also encourage residents to consider joining the efforts of the Orange Hat ad-hoc neighborhood watch group. They meet every Wednesday at 8:30pm at the intersection of 11th and South Carolina Avenue, SE.

I cannot overstate how important it is for all of us to look out for one another. If you see a crime being committed—or hear a cry for help—call 911. It is not only the most effective way to quickly get help, it also creates a record that is incredibly useful in terms of my oversight role as chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety.

We take your safety very seriously; if you have any other concerns please reach out to my office at 202.724.8072.

Yours Truly,

Tommy Wells

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4 responses to “Letter from Tommy Wells on This Week's Community Meeting on Public Safety”

  1. AJR says:

    How can we pinpoint our neighborhood PSA liasons?

  2. AJR says:

    Additionally, for anyone trying to join the listserv mentioned in the letter, you will receive a bounceback email. Here’s the link to join: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MPD-1D/join You have to be a yahoo user so I hope they change their listserv source soon.

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