Capitol Hill Community Turns Out for Meeting on Recent Spike in Muggings
by Larry Janezich
Last night, some 50 Capitol Hill residents attended a meeting in The Hill Center to hear Metropolitan Police explain their continuing efforts to address a sudden spike in pedestrian and business robberies in the neighborhood.
The meeting was hosted by Councilmember Tommy Wells, who characterized the rash of muggings as “trending crime.” Wells said that a commonly heard refrain is that crime is an expectation that goes with living in the city. Wells’ said, “[m]y expectation is zero crime – no matter what neighborhood you live in.”
There were a total of 14 robberies in December of 2011, many of them near Eastern Market Metro. All but one of the robberies took place at night, and pedestrians were the victims in all but one. (Radio Shack suffered an armed robbery on December 23.) There have been no instances of pedestrian crime since MPD instituted a plan to address the issue, though a 7/11 was held up January 2.
MPD Commander Hickson, Lt. Fowler and a handful of police officials and officers were on hand to explain MPD’s response to the spike and to tell residents what they can do to protect themselves and their community.
Among the points stressed by Commander Hickson were:
Technology (read iPhones/androids) makes you a target. (Would you walk around holding $400 up to your ear?)
Be alert and stay observant. Part of the problem in making arrests is the inability of victims to identify their assailants.
Don’t hesitate to call 911 if you have suspicions of criminal activity.
Go to the MPD website (MPD.dc.gov) and sign up for “Alert DC Rapid Text Notification.” Alert DC is an emergency notification system that provides different ways to get real-time text information regarding police activity and to help citizens prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters.
Finally, Dickson urged citizens to get involved with their Public Service Areas (PSAs). Involvement, he said, can be coordinated through (ANC6B) Commissioners – most of whom were present at the meeting.
ANC6B06 Commissioner Jared Critchfield subsequently said that he was encouraged that so many people had turned out for tonight’s the meeting, and emphasized the importance of participation in the monthly PSA meetings. He urged that residents take note of the PSA boundary changes that went into effect January 1. The new map cam be viewed here: http://mpdc.dc.gov/mpdc/frames.asp?doc=/mpdc/lib/mpdc/info/districts/pdf/1dnew_large_nov11.pdf