After a recent surge in crime, residents in the Southwest Petworth portion of Ward 4 have been imploring MPD to bring their Narcotics and Special Investigations Division (NSID) to Ward 4 on a more permanent basis. The Ward 4 Councilmember, Brandon Todd, recently sent a letter to MPD's Chief Newsham requesting that MPD make this change happen.
Dear Chief Newsham,
I am writing regarding the ongoing public safety concerns in Southwest Petworth, specifically the 1200 block of Quincy Street NW, the nearby 14th Street commercial corridor, and the surrounding area. I commend Fourth District Commander Griffin and his team for their efforts to-date, including numerous and consistent arrests, exquisite responsiveness to residents’ outreach via e-mail and phone, and a community meeting last week. The commitment of the Fourth District is clear and greatly appreciated. Additionally, a multi-agency approach has been taken, with the Dept. of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, the Uptown Main Street, and the Office of the Attorney General, among others, working together to comprehensively address concerns.
However, ongoing concerns related to drug dealing, prostitution, shots fired, and other illicit activities continue to have a deleterious impact on the sense of safety and quality of life of residents in Southwest Petworth. Given the severity and prolonged nature of these concerns, I am asking that MPD’s efforts be re-doubled, and that the full resources of the Narcotics and Special Investigations Division (NSID) be sustainably and fully leveraged.
I understand that NSID has spent a week conducting operations on the 1200 block of Quincy St, NW. Their investigation has thus far not revealed any conduct resulting in an arrest. Residents have expressed frustration that NSID investigators are unable to remain on-site for extended periods given their obligations in other MPD districts, and have requested that a unit be dedicated to Ward 4 to provide for continuous investigative resources in the area. I urge you to deploy NSID’s investigative resources to Southwest Petworth in a manner that is consistent with the seriousness of these concerns and that allows for the investigation to be completed and acted upon expeditiously.
I appreciate your attention to these concerns. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate in reaching me directly.
Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4