PSA 102 Meeting
Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Sherwood Recreation Center
Lt. Tracie Simmons, Washington Metro Transit Police Dept. (WMATA PD)
Sgt. Sawyer, (WMATA PD)
Sgt. Washington – 1st District, MPD
Sgt. Mapp, MPD
David Klavitter (PSA 102 Citizen Co-Coordinator)
Marc Lesnick (PSA 102 Citizen Co-Coordinator)
Roger Mattioli (previous PSA Coordinator and Current PSA 102 Statistician)
Other Community Members and MPD Officers
* Discussion of Public Safety with Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Police Lt Tracie Simmons:
Lt Simmons and Sgt Sawyer from WMPD were present to describe the role of their force in protecting citizens, and to answer the community’s questions about what enforcement activities WMPD performs in our PSA.
- WMATA PD role is to police the metro trains, metro stations, buses, and bus stations that are part of WMATA PD in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia
- WMATA PD’s jurisdiction includes all bus-stops, and extends 150 ft from each bus stop
- WMATA PD tries to coordinate with other police jurisdictions on their activities, since they overlap with these other forces,
- One tool WMATA PD uses to deal with high crime areas are to organize “HITEs”: “High Intensity Targeted Enforcements”
- These events feature zero tolerance for minor infractions, and the use of both uniformed and plainclothes police to enhance safety.
- She stated that the bus stop on 8th and H St is a known high crime area, and that a HITE was performed there recently
During question and answer session, much of the questioning was about why Metro Transit Police presence was clearly evident at Gallery Place/Chinatown, but much less evident at 8th and H or at 14 and Benning Rd.--two well known crime hot spots. Lt Simmons answered that they had limited resources to cover a wide area, and that they place officers at the high volume Gallery Place area to protect the people there for all of the special events that occur there. This was not greeted with enthusiasm by the audience.
Another question about how WMATA PD plans to deal with the increase in evening passengers on H St as the new bars and theatres open, to address their safety. Her answer is that there currently is no unified plan, but that if special events occur, WMATA PD should be notified so that they can allot officers accordingly.
A community member brought up the problem of people using a bus stop at 10th and K as a convenient location for selling drugs. The Lt. thanked the citizen for this information, and promised to address the situation.
As a final follow up, Lt. Simmons stated that she would likely be able to get the community information monthly on the crimes that occur on transit and at bus stops within our area- this will be valuable, along with the other MPD crime reports, to allow citizens to be knowledgeable about crime trends in order to better protect themselves.
Many types of crime were significantly down for the month of April, but there was a sharp increase in auto theft. MPD mentioned that the decrease in burglaries seen in the last two months was because of arrests that led to the closing of 74 open burglaries in our PSA. MPD’s Sgt Rogers is working on a plan to address the high rate of stolen vehicles, and in addition, officers from the MPD tactical group (plain-clothes) are taking voluntary overtime to patrol the PSA to combat this problem. Interestingly, this increase in auto theft correlates with a drop in theft from auto- it is possible that the thieves are opting to steal vehicles instead of merely stealing items form them!
H AND 8TH STREET PARTNERSHIP FOR PROBLEM SOLVING
The continuing problems of armed robberies, drugs, public drinking, public urination and public defecation at the corner of H and 8th have risen to the level where the neighbors in the vicinity believe that it is time for a concerted effort to decrease the level of crime in this well known hotspot. The PSA coordinators, along with Lt. Mcinnis, will work to get together all of the stakeholders in this area, including the citizens who live there, the businesses located near the corner, and the liquor stores that supply the alcohol that fuels many of these problems. Stay tuned for meeting info for this important event.
ITEMS FOR NEXT MEETING
A Community member requested that we get speakers to address safety issues specific (and not so specific) to women. Marc and Dave, with the MPD, will try to find such a speaker!