Notes from PSA 407 meeting

The Police Service Area meeting for PSA 407 was Thursday, February 18th. While I could not attend, Jonah Goodman was kind enough to share his notes from the meeting. Note that PSA 404's meeting, with Lt. Raul Figueras, is scheduled for March 8th at 7pm at 801 Shepherd St.

MPD officers in attendance were Lt. Anthony Washington (PSA 407 manager) and Acting Sgt Patrick Wilson.

Overall there has been a 42% reduction in crime in the last 30 days. 29% reduction compared to the same 30-day span last year.

  • 1 robbery (4 in previous 30 days, 2 have been closed)
  • 0 homicides (1 in previous 30 days)
  • 10 violent crimes (didn’t hear how many in last 30 days)
  • 13 property crimes (32 in previous 30 days)
  • 0 theft from auto (4 in previous 30 days)
  • 0 burglary (1 in previous 30 days)

MPD arrested a group of five juveniles in the 4400 block of Kansas. After these arrests robberies seemed to have declined noticeably. There is a belief that this group of juveniles was responsible for numerous incidents. With the arrests they recovered one gun, one knife, and several face masks.

Related: Robbery on Varnum & New Hampshire leads to quick arrest - Feb 3, 2016

7th and Decatur had been a hotspot and community involvement has allegedly helped calm.

7th and Decatur had been a hotspot and community involvement has allegedly helped calm.

Increased MPD focus in the 8th Street to 3rd Street and Delafield/Decatur area has been successful but also pushed the robberies north (to the next PSA). Overall crime reduction seems to be gaining some notice. Year-to-date there have been 74 robberies in the 4th District, with only 4 of those being in PSA 407 (2 are closed). PSA lieutenants had to go down to Chief's office at the end of 2015 to explain their plan for crime reduction. Because of large decrease already in PSA 407, Lt Washington was excused from having to do this. He attributes this decline to really strong community and police relationships, community education, community involvement, smart use of officers/patrols, and specifically called out Petworth News coverage and support. (Ed note: Thanks LT!)

Not OK Corral: Gunshots continue at Emerson & 7th Street (Nov 16, 2015)
MPD update on gunshots at Emerson & 7th (Updated 11/18) (Nov 18, 2015)
MPD outlines steps for dealing with burglaries in PSA 407 (Nov 20, 2015)
A terrible assault and a group of neighbors working for change (Nov 21, 2015)

ANC 4C08 Commissioner Jones asked about an incident at 805 Rock Creek Church Road. Appears to be some issues with other jurisdictions or city agencies that caused some delays with getting action. (Jonah note: Unclear what this was about, Lt Washington and Jones talked quickly to each other and didn’t explain to attendees.)

312 Gallatin St has been a nuisance property for 12+ years. MPD along with the support of OAG have identified the owner and the property should be declared vacant soon. They need temperatures to increase so they can evict tenants without putting them out in the cold and bad weather. MPD seems very pleased that this is finally resolved after a lot of challenges.

Picture after the January 24th shooting at Sherman Circle.

Picture after the January 24th shooting at Sherman Circle.

Attendee asked about the Sherman Circle shooting during snow storm. Lt Washington said there was guy shoveling snow, a car pulled up targeted him and he ran. He was hit in the ankle or lower leg. They know it is a targeted shooting not a random act. Victim is uncooperative. 5-6 shell casings found. A week later a similar incident across the circle with same MO. Victims also not helping. Continued police presence in the area but lack of cooperation from the victims/targets is making it difficult to get information.

Related: Shooting at Sherman Circle this morning (Jan 24, 2015)

Lt. Washington mentioned that with big snow storms MPD doesn’t have the vehicles to get around as much as they would want. He admits not useful most years, but when its needed its needed. Given all the needs and wishes for budget money snow capable vehicles likely are not a priority. He talked about having up to four officers in cars together out patrolling. An attendee asked if they were out ticketing residents who were saving shoveled out spots. He said he opted to not respond to dug out parking spot saving issues due to the waste of officers time and limited resources. He believes it is an issue neighbors should be able to work out amongst themselves.

800 Upshur St on December 20, 2015

800 Upshur St on December 20, 2015

Attendee asked if there was any news on the Upshur and 8th stabbing. To date there is no additional information MPD can share. Unusual that its a robbery with knife and not a gun. Questions about it being gang related, but seems to not be the case. Questions about it being a set up with him told to meet someone, again seems to not be the case. Seems little is known.

Related: Stabbing at 8th & Upshur St NW (Dec 20, 2015)

Lt Washington recalled a recent ADW gun at 5400 5th Street he forgot to mention earlier. Two guys were messing with a car and guy comes out on a balcony to yell at them to get away from his car. The two guys pull out guns and shoot at him, though not hitting the car owner. Partial description of them and video was captured, though they evaded arrest.

Some things are too good to be true...

Some things are too good to be true...

Lt Washington and Acting Sgt Wilson talked about a recent robbery on 700 block of Randolph when a guy answered craigslist ad for a really cheap iPad. The victim showed up to buy the device, gave money and took possession of the iPad, then assaulted and money and iPad stolen. Attendee asked why MPD doesn’t set up stings to go after these people. MPD doesn’t have resources to set up schemes to target these guys with controlled buys. Lt. Washington explained that something like Vice has the time and resources for it but cautioned it can be hard to figure out what is a legitimate sale versus a scam and could run up big bills buying legitimate products.

Related: Too good to be true: Careful when you buy from Craigslist (Jan 31, 2016)

Attendee asked a question about NH/GA (south side by CVS and across the street near Petworth Cafe) area with kids loitering, harassing women, pot smoking. MPD talked about possibly increasing bike patrols to the area but noted this is the border of 407 and 404 so they will need to see if Lt. Figueras can put resources west of GA.

Acting Sgt Wilson gave some regular advice to wrap up the meeting. Do not leave anything visible in cars. Avoid pumping gas at night if possible. Be smart about surroundings.

Lastly LT Washington mentioned he has been studying hard for quite some time for a Captain's test. We might be getting a new PSA LT if he gets promoted. Will know Friday 2/19. He will work with us to transition his replacement if needed.

(Ed note: Thanks very much to Jonah for his notes!)