Monday, April 28, 2008

Lots of Police Activity

Mr. 14th & You and I were driving from Capitol Hill to Logan last night between 9:15 and 9:45 and we happened to spot several police cruisers along the way. We saw three cruisers at the Shaw Metro and another two as we traveled up R Street. They weren't responding to any events as we drove by; they were just parked at various cross streets along R. Like the crime cameras, I'm never sure if I should be thankful for their watchful eyes or concerned about the neighborhood factors that led to their presence. Unless there was some sort of incident before we got back into town last night, I'm guessing that police are increasing patrols in various areas in response to the violence over this past weekend.

We've gotten a few questions about the sound of shots fired in our alley. Neither the Dupont Current nor the Washington Post have published recent enough statistics for us to follow up. does not appear to have any information posted either. (Though there would need to be a reported crime, not just a police call, in order for them to plot it on the map.) We do anticipate seeing Lt. Smith at the next ANC meeting (Wed., May 7) and we plan to ask him about the incident then.

In cheerier news, the Express recommended our blog as a good DC neighborhood-centric read. Check out the blurb posted on Friday. Mr. and Mrs. 14th & You are given credit for our "candid" coverage of neighborhood events even if we don't paint a "rosy picture" all the time. Now I have blogger guilt about the recent lower volume of posts. In our defense, I worked 52 hours last week, and Mr. 14th and You didn't fare much better. We hope to have more time in the near future for exploring our area and writing about it.


Dan Miller said...

I live at 6th and P and the increased police patrols have been at the Shaw metro for a while now--since late winter/early spring, I think.

Caro said...

Seconding Dan, I live at 7th & R, across from the Metro station, and there has been a patrol car parked at the corner of 8th & R almost constantly for at least two months. At this point, I tend to be surprised on the rare occasions when I don't see one there.

On the one hand, it makes me feel safer coming home at night when I know there will be a police car there and I plan to walk past it. On the other hand, it's certainly not a long term solution, and I always wonder if it just means the crime is happening a block or two away. Shouldn't they be moving around the surrounding blocks, at least once in a while, rather than staying put?

The Roaming Pie Elf said...

I live on 11th & R and my roommate and I noticed the police car stationed in front of the Shaw metro in February. A few weeks later an article appeared in the Sunday Post about crime in the Shaw area. Apparently, it's mostly gang-related violence. There is one gang at the low-income housing unit across from the metro and another one a few blocks away. The gangs have been fighting for a while. The reason the police has been monitoring several streets off R 24/7 is because one of the gang members was released from jail and some violent incidents occurred in broad daylight, right in front of the metro (someone filled a parked car with bullets).

After reading that article, I approached one of the police officers outside the metro and asked if there was any cause for alarm. He assured that this is just an issue of gang violence. Still, this situation, combined with the violent events that have taken place in the N. Capitol St. NW area do not make me feel safe at all.

Anonymous said...

i thought it was interesting because i noticed a bunch of police cars around this past weekend too. there were some over on 17th and at one point a cruiser parked perpendicular blocking Church at 16th, which i didn't get. there is frequently a police cruise parked on R btw 14 and 15, which is probably a good thing too. and a little off topic, but U street on weekend nights is out of control, and could really use a lot more police on it.

14th & You said...

I too had noticed more patrol cars along 16th and 17th, starting before sunset on some days. I didn't know about the Shaw watches. I guess it had been a while since I'd walked or drive by there at night.

By the way, I think that the explanation megikarp received is a little disappointing. Even when crime is "just" gang violence, property could be damaged, home values suffer, and residents can be injured or killed. Qualifying the activity as just gang related also seems to indicate a certain acceptance of the seeming inevitability of the situation. Am I over thinking this?