CM Allen Meets With Barracks Row Stakeholders on Eastern Market Plaza Safety Concerns
Crime Stats Down in PSA 107 – Violent Crimes Persist Near Eastern Market Metro
by Larry Janezich
Last week, Barracks Row merchants took the initiative to deal with crime near Eastern Market Metro Plaza and the conditions which support and result from that activity. Merchants organized a meeting on Monday, September 21, at Hill’s Kitchen with Council Member Charles Allen and Barracks Row stakeholders, including merchants, neighbors, several ANC6B Commissioners and Community Connections – (located at 801 Pennsylvania Avenue, the facility is DC’s largest non-profit provider of mental health care and addiction treatment for the city’s residents). Although MPD was invited to attend, they did not.
Hill’s Kitchen owner Leah Daniels, who helped organize the meeting, said, “The business owners had a successful meeting with Council Member Allen, neighbors, and representatives from Community Connections about the ongoing problem of vagrancy, crime, and feeling of insecurity in the area. We look to continue the conversation and look to have MPD join us on our next meeting.”
Asked for comment, Allen told CHC, “I met with several local business and resident leaders regarding public safety concerns around the Eastern Market Metro Plaza. It was a very frank and productive conversation about the ongoing frustrations and crimes in the area. I will be reconvening the group in a few weeks to review some action plans by MPD, as well as steps local service providers are putting in place to improve safety and accountability.” ANC6B Commissioners Oldenburg, Hoskins, and Hagedorn were present at the meeting as well.
Residents have raised the issue of feeling unsafe on Barracks Row and the extended Eastern Market Metro Plaza at the past several PSA 107 meetings. Capitol Hill Corner has been urging ANC6B to be more active in coordinating an effort among community stakeholders to address crime. To date, ANC has only sent a letter to MPD requesting a meeting to work on building better relationships and suggesting 1) MPD update the ANC on crime occasionally, 2) a spring public safety meeting in anticipation of the increase in crime that comes with warmer weather, and 3) improving the description of crimes on the MPD crime maps.
A look at the MPD crime map shows that violent crime in PSA 107 dropped to five incidents during the past 30 days (August 30 – September 29) from 13 incidents in the previous 30 days (July 29 – August 30), but four of the most recent incidents occurred near Eastern Market Metro. (An ugly day-time assault of a Good Samaritan who intervened in a dispute between teens near the corner of Pennsylvania and 8th Street, SE, on September 22nd, does not appear to be indicated on the crime map.)
The five incidents of violence include one case of sex abuse and four robberies without a gun. (It’s not possible from the information given to determine which crimes occurred where, but it seems likely the four robberies occurred near the Metro stop.) The previous 30 days saw 3 robberies without gun, 4 robberies with gun, 4 simple assaults, and 2 assaults with a deadly weapon.
There was also a drop in nonviolent crime in PSA 107 to 87 incidents in the past 30 days, down from 124 incidents in the previous 30 days. The 87 incidents include 3 burglaries (down from 5), 38 thefts (down from 64), 37 thefts from auto (down from 45), and 9 stolen autos (down from 10). Again, a close look at the crime map shows many of these nonviolent crimes are clustered around Barracks Row.
Here’s a link to the MPD Crime Map: http://crimemap.dc.gov/
PSA 107 will meet Thursday, October 1, at 7:00pm in Southeast Library, lower level.