Citizens and Police Cooperating for Near Northeast and the H Street NE Corridor.

Notes from the June PSA 102 Meeting

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June 12, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
(the second Tuesday of every month)
Sherwood Recreation Center
10th and G Streets NE

[Special thanks to Donna Anaya, who volunteered to take notes during the June meeting.]

I. Introductions, agenda

PSA 102 Citizen Coordinator Dave Klavitter convened the meeting, reviewed the agenda items and asked all attendees to introduce themselves. Officials attending included Lt. Barbara Hawkins and several of her officers (including Ofcr. Johnson and MPO Burgess); Carolyn Crank, 1D Community Outreach Specialist, US Attorney’s Office; Prosecutor w/ US Attorney’s Ofc. for 1D; first responder Jackie White from 911/311 of DC’s Unified Communications Center; and Maria Barner from Sherwood Rec Center.

II. Crime Stats/Burglaries

Citizen Roger Mattioli reviewed the crime stats which showed an increase in total crime in May, including burglaries, robberies and thefts. Lt. Hawkins said items being stolen include laptops, cell phones, iPods and CDs and are often carried in backpacks by the suspects. Assaults often involve domestic situations or people who know each other. Burglaries often occur during the day when most people are at work. Hawkins said she has a plan to combat burglaries and robberies but is unable to discuss it at this time. She reported on several arrests that have recently occurred, including those of juveniles. She stated that beginning July 18, MPD would start 10-hour shifts in 1D. Overall, such shifts will add 70-100 officers on the streets. She advised citizens to call ID Station to request “special attention” when you go on vacation and to leave point of contact info for someone close by who can reach you and secure your house if necessary.

A resident of Capitol Hill Towers asked what can be done to ensure safety of CHT’s seniors who walk in the neighborhood. MPD agreed to work with CHT’s security force.

III. Hot Spots

Lt. Hawkins noted various hot spots including: 6th & L Sts., 4th & L Sts., 1200 blocks of Linden and Wylie, and 10th & G Sts. including Sherwood Rec Center. Additional attention to these areas will continue for the next 30 days.

Klavitter asked citizens to call 727-1000 to report street lights that are out along w/ their identifying number on a band near the top of the pole and whether it’s a metal or wooden pole.

IV. Flyers

Klavitter acknowledged that this meeting had one of the largest turnouts ever. Flyers work well to supplement electronic communications to get the word out. Several volunteers handed out flyers regarding the meeting and the PSA102 brochure at nearby Metro stations. More volunteers are needed to continue the effort.

Special note of thanks to those who volunteered their time to distribute the information: Brandon Bies, Aimee Carter, Claudia Lawder, Roger Mattioli, John Wirt.

At PSA 102’s September meeting, Dr. Richard Lytle, Special Asst. to the President of Gallaudet University, will attend to discuss problems that neighbors have experienced with some of the students. Lt. Hawkins reiterated MPD’s interest in working with groups in the community, i.e., Gallaudet or Capitol Hill Towers, to help identify and resolve various issues of concern.

V. Ride Alongs

Klavitter shared his experience of doing a ride along with Ofcr. Michelle Ridlehoover and recommended others sign up for the same experience which he described as fascinating and worthwhile. Lt. Hawkins offered that any day was a good day to do them.

VI. Orange Hat Patrols

Mattioli explained how Orange Hat or citizen patrols worked and encouraged others to participate. The patrols walk with flashlights and cell phones; a police officer will sometimes join them. He walks year-round (weather permitting) with a group each Wednesday night for approximately an hour and a half, starting at Stuart-Hobson Middle School at the 400 block of E St. NE.

Klavitter stated that a similar patrol would be helpful on the north side of H St. NE if anyone was interested. Block Captain Brandon Bies is coordinating.

VII. Juveniles

Lt. Hawkins touched on the problem with juveniles, particularly during summer months after schools close. MPD is working with Sherwood Rec Center to develop activities that’ll attract youth and provide a positive influence rather than those involving crime. Hawkins believes juveniles can be changed with the proper support and encouragement.

Sherwood Rec Center’s Maria Barner spoke briefly about their summer programs including camps and DC’s summer job program for youth. She invited neighbors to volunteer to help staff the various programs.

Ofcr. Johnson encouraged neighbors to sponsor a child to send them to summer camp or at least help them with the application process. For more information, neighbors should contact Sgt. Johnson at 1D.

Carolyn Crank announced that an Asst. Attorney General will be making the rounds at PSA meetings to discuss juvenile crimes and associated problems. The first appearance will be at PSA103’s meeting on June 13.

VIII. Miscellaneous Items & Announcements

Reps from 911/311 spoke briefly and answered questions from neighbors. They stated that the best way to get a response to a call for service is to call 911/311 and beat officers directly who will likely respond to the dispatch. They also encouraged citizens (groups preferred) to visit the Unified Communications Center’s new facility at 2720 MLK Ave., SE, and see their operations.

Crank announced a city-wide event to kick off summer youth activities on June 14 at Hechinger Mall? from 12-4pm. Sponsored by the US Attorney’s Office and MPD, the event will include radio personalities from WPGC, giveaways and other celebrities.

National Night Out will be August 7.

In closing, citizens were invited to talk privately to MPD or other officials about individual concerns. The meeting adjourned at 8:25 pm. The next meeting is Tuesday, July 10.

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