Re: Community Update from Chief Lanier
- Dear Chief Lanier-
First, let me say thank you sincerely for your work and the work of
all the officers of the MPD on behalf of the city and its citizens. It
is a difficult job and one that does not earn you enough appreciation.
As a resident of Trinidad Avenue in the Fifth District, I have been
pleased to see more officers on foot, bike and in cars patrolling the
neighborhood. My husband and I even saw some of the MPD horse trailers
on Montello Avenue last week. The effort is much appreciated.
However, I would like more detail regarding a statement in your update:
"Due to the work of our Homicide Detectives, we have arrested 14
people on murder charges in the last thirty days; we have closed three
of the 18 homicides that have occurred in the Fifth District; and on
April 3, we arrested three armed individuals that had just shot
someone in the Saratoga area of the Fifth District. This high number
of closed cases is a true testament to the theory that community
involvement truly is the backbone to closing cases."
I do not believe closing 3 homicides out of 18 to be a high number at
all (16.6 percent). What was the homicide closure rate for 2007?
I understand and agree that you need more community involvement to
solve crimes. (Seeing a man at the Home Depot on Brentwood last
weekend with a "Stop Snitching" shirt made my skin crawl.) And I
applaud the successes that the MPD has had so far this year.
But 3 out of 18 on any school quiz is a failing grade. And it does
little to make me feel safer on the streets of my neighborhood as I
walk to the grocery store with my children.
What else can be done both by the police and citizens? DC deserves
better, safer streets for everyone.
Thank you again for taking the time to participate in the community
dialogue on this forum. I really appreciate it.
- I wanted to echo some of the recent comments praising the police for their recent response. It seems like officers are everywhere right now, and not just in cars. Though there are sometimes rough spots, and I have heard of some unfortunate responses from officers to citizen complaints, I am hopeful over all. I had a very good conversation with an officer, and a community member last weekend. The officer, I belief her name was Hawkins, is assigned to Joseph Cole Recreation center. She not only recognized me from PSA meetings, and simply walking in the area, but was very friendly and polite, answering questions whenever possible. She seemed to know the area, and the residents, well. It's always heartening to deal with officers with a genuine interest in the community and making it a better place.
I also wanted to mention that I recently asked a late night question of Lt. Anderson and received a prompt reply the very next morning. Our PSA meetings in 504 have not always been productive, but I believe we are moving in the right direction. I very much appreciate the increased efforts from MPD to keep us all appraised of shootings, and other matters in the 5th District. It matters to us all a great deal.
Back to work after baby– how do you know when you’re ready?