Editorial: I Was Embarrassed…
by Larry Janezich
I was embarrassed for the Capitol Hill community tonight at the turn out for the PSA 107 meeting. Today this blog posted on a significant jump in violent crime in PSA 107 during the last 30 days and re-posted the notice of tonight’s PSA 107 meeting. The resident turnout at tonight’s PSA meeting is seen in the photo above. Two residents – both regulars – showed up for the PSA meeting with MPD District 1 Lt. Eddie Fowler at 7:00pm in Southeast Library. This after Councilmember Charles Allen and MPD District 1 officials urged residents to get involved in addressing Capitol Hill crime issues by working though the PSAs and the ANCs.
Where were the representatives of ANC6B and its Constituent Outreach and Community Services Task Force? (Most were at ANC6B’s Alcohol Beverage Control Committee scheduled at the same conflicting time.) Where was the much-in-evidence-on-newhilleast-listserve “Citizens for a Safe Capitol Hill”? Where were Hillnow.com, The Hill is Home, The Hill Rag, Barracks Row Mainstreet, EMCAC, MOTH, the PTA’s, the churches, Capitol Hill BID, Community Connections, Barracks Row business stakeholders and residents? Where were the outraged listserv posters and the op ed writers? Hell, where were the Capitol Hill Restoration Society and the Capitol Hill Garden Club? Don’t tell me they don’t have a stake in the community.
Community Policing is the most effective way to address crime in our community. It’s not a situation where you show up at a meeting every couple of months and say, “I’ve done my part.” This requires a sustained and committed effort. Police Service Areas (PSAs) are the basis of Community Policing. Community Policing doesn’t work unless residents and stakeholders show up at PSA meetings. And if they show up, PSA meetings don’t work unless residents have lots of questions. Questions demand answers and accountability. If the answers are not satisfactory, residents have the power to change the MPD official in charge of the PSA.
As Joseph de Maistre said (often misattributed to Alexis de Tocqueville), “Every nation gets the government it deserves.”