Violent Crime on Capitol Hill Down in February
MPD Resources “Being Maintained” In PSA 107
by Larry Janezich
MPD Lt. Eddie Fowler told the four residents who showed up for Thursday night’s PSA 107 meeting that violent crime in the PSA has dropped 78% over the past 30 days. Significantly, robberies are in the category of violent crime.
Property crimes including thefts from businesses and homes have gone up but it was unclear by what percentage. MPD did not post Daily Crime Reports during all of February but Fowler said at a staff meeting earlier today, he was told postings would be resumed “any day.”
Fowler attributed the decline in violent crime to the increased resources deployed to the PSA after the spike in crime and two high-profile shootings in December of 2012. He cited the vice unit, the mountain bike unit, and the power shift unit as examples of MPD’s response to the crime spike. The officer did not specifically mention an increase in patrol officers though all of the units he cited contributed to an increased MPD presence in the community.
Fowler confirmed that the MPD’s strategy is to shift resources in response to development of “hotspots,” the same tactic that the military uses in wartime. Asked if the resources committed to Capitol Hill in response to December’s violence had been pulled back in light of the reduction in violent crime or whether any pull back was being anticipated, he said, “resources are being maintained.” Asked if decisions on redeploying resources elsewhere in the First District were made at the end of the month in response to statistics, Fowler replied that “it’s day to day.”
Another question raised by an attending resident was to what degree the Metro Transit Police share with MPD data on crimes that occur within their jurisdiction. Fowler said that there was active communication between investigators on the two forces, but the crime data of the Transit Police was not integrated into the MPD data.
Fowler’s briefing raises the question as to whether an overall increase in the number of patrol officers, versus the deployment of specific tactical units in response to specific situations, is the appropriate response to crime.
PSA 107 is the area bounded by a line starting at 2nd and G Streets, SE; north on 2nd Street to Massachusetts Avenue, NE; southwest on Massachusetts Avenue to Lincoln Park; along the north side of the park to North Carolina Avenue, NE; northeast on North Carolina Avenue to 13th Street, NE; and south on 13th Street NE to G Street, SE. A map of the PSA can be found here: http://mpdc.dc.gov/page/welcome-first-district