Takeaways from Wednesday’s MPD Public Safety Presentation to ANC6B

ANC6B held a virtual meeting on Wednesday night. First up on the agenda was a presentation from MPD on Public Safety.

Takeaways from Wednesday’s MPD Public Safety Presentation to ANC6B

by Larry Janezich

Wednesday night ANC6B heard a public safety presentation by MPD 1st District Captain Kevin Harding and Lt. Joy Lee.  The meeting had been scheduled prior to the shootings two week earliers at Potomac Avenue Metro Station where Metro engineer Robert Cunningham lost his life while trying to assist a passenger who was being threatened by a gunman.  The ANC began their meeting with a moment of silence in his honor and later in the evening passed a resolution of condolences. 

Takeaways:  MPD 1st District:      

  • Has increased its presence at Potomac Avenue Metro Station.
  • Has increased its patrols in the areas where shootings have recently occurred – East Capitol and 15th and G Streets.
  • Has lost 110 officers through retirements and attrition. Increased MPD presence is being accomplished by paying overtime.  Harding was unable to share insight on why officers are retiring or leaving the force. 
  • Has put plans for revamping the operations of the Substation at 5th and C “on hold for now.”
  • Checks every Metro bus once an hour. Putting officers on buses is not a good use of resources.
  • Statistics show violent crime year to date is down 18% compared with last year (but homicides are up 19% and sex abuse is up 88%).
  • Statistics show property crime year to date is up 23% compared with last year (but motor vehicle theft is up 102%).

Commissioners had questions about the operation of the Office of Unified Communication (911 dispatchers), who the Violence Interrupters are and how they operate, and how Safe Passage Programs are established.  Harding and MPD Lieutenant Joy Lee said those inquiries should be directed to higher officials.

ANC6B has resolved to deepen its engagement on public safety issues.  It has established a Public Safety Committee chaired by resident member Lisa Matsumoto which the Commission expects to be MPD’s point of contact for the ANC. 

Here are the most recent statistics from the MPD.  See below and here:  https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/district-crime-data-glance

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