The Mayor announced that the Fall Crime Initiative (FCI) would be extended to Jan. 1 to combat any rise in crime during the holiday season.
The expansion of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) effort was announced at a press conference held at William H. Rumsey Aquatic Center (635 North Carolina Ave. SE) in advance of Mayor Muriel Bower’s Monthly Community Walk, for December through a Ward 6 neighborhood.
The mayor said the initiative, kickstarted Oct. 14, has helped drive down crime in targeted neighborhoods and want to keep investment going through the holidays, in light of the uptick in ‘crimes of opportunity’, such as package thefts and vehicle break-ins. Neighborhoods in Ward 6 targeted by the initiative include Southwest and Shaw.
MPD Assistant Chief of Patrol Services South Chanel Dickerson, oversees patrol services in areas including Ward 6. At the conference, she said the initiatives have led to a 3 percent decrease in violent crime in the FCI area over the same period last year. Property crime has also decreased by 22 percent and total crime has gone down by 19 percent compared to same period last year. 48 illegal guns have been recovered in the total area during this period, she added.
Dickerson said that the most frequent crimes committed are thefts from auto, and encouraged drivers to hide valuables or remove them from their vehicle, to lock doors and windows, and to never leave the vehicle running while unattended.
Noting the prevalence of package theft, she encouraged neighbors to communicate with one another, and ask them to take packages in for one another. When packages are stolen, she said neighbors should report these crimes to police. “I cannot stress how important it is for us to hold the offenders accountable when we capture their criminal behavior on video.”
Bowser encouraged neighbors to participate in the District’s private security camera incentive program, which provides rebates on cameras installed on private property. “Whether it’s a package theft or a violent crime, camera footage plays a critical role in helping MPD hold people accountable for engaging in criminal behavior.”
Residents engaged with Bowser along her route, which took her past Seward Square, down Barracks Row and to Tyler Elementary School. Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B Chair Chander Jayaraman asked the Mayor to add parking behind Eastern Market, pointing out that there is a swath of land next the Rumsey pool that he said could be used to add at least a dozen spots for customers. Resident Mike McDonald appealed to the Mayor’s Office for consideration of a particular homeless individual in the area. With representatives from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) present, another resident raised her concerns about the proximity of new 5G small cell antennae to homes in the community.
The mayor visited businesses in the area, including Calomiris Fruit and Vegetable stand and Bowers Fancy Dairy Products in Eastern Market, as well as Groovy Cards and Gifts (321 Seventh St. SE).
The walk was attended by representatives of agencies including the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH), DDOT, the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department of Public Works (DPW) and was intended to address issues throughout the community, including those related to homelessness, traffic safety, behavioral issues and crime.
This post has been updated to clarify comments made by the ANC 6B Chair during the walk.