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Police and Public Safety

Public Safety Follow-up to Last BACA Meeting -- Neighborhood Walk-Through on 4/30/2007
By Jim Berry
Apr 29, 2007, 06:46

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At the April 2007 BACA meeting Mayor Adrian Fenty made a commitment to help us to eradicate the open-air drug markets in our community and his Ward Five Constituent Services Coordinator Alice Thompson has been diligently working to assist us in this regard. I told you earlier last week that she was successful in getting several nuisance properties closed down and boarded up in the Unit block of Q Street, N.W. and, after the vagrants and drug boys tore the boards off of the building the very next day, Alice was able to get the Fifth District Police to come out and arrest them and she got DPW to immediately board up/secure the properties again.

Alice has also been helping us with the graffiti problems that we are having in the community. Indeed, I will urge her to keep the pressure on those guys who keep "tagging" properties in the vicinity of 4th and R Streets, N.W. and elsewhere throughout the neighborhood. It is my understanding and experience, that we will find ourselves engaged in a "battle of wills" with the guys who do the "tagging," so don't be surprised if the graffiti returns a short period of time after it has been removed/painted over. The goal has to be to remove it as quickly as possible no matter how many times that it reappears. Thankfully, the city government is serious about and committed the goal of helping us to work through this problem, but frankly it won't happen over night.

On tomorrow, Monday, April 30, 2007, at high noon Alice and Fifth District Police Captain Melvin Scott will be conducting a walk-through of the community. Importantly, our neighbor and Fifth District Police CAC Chairperson Art Slater is going to join them. If other residents of the area are available to participate in this walk-through, I strongly encourage you to meet the group at the corner of First and Bates Streets, N.W., again, at Noon to help point out our problem areas as well as to show support for their expected interventions.

I know this is short notice and that some of you, like myself, have pre-existing professional commitments that will preclude your attendance, but when I learned that the walk-through was taking place I wanted to make certain that those who could participate would have an opportunity to do so.

Please know that this is one of a series of actions that will be taken over the coming months to address the myriad public safety issues that afflict our area. Indeed, you will hear more about what is being planned for our area during this period of time at the May 7, 2007 meeting of our civic association.

With respect to tomorrow's walk-through of the area, please call Alice Thompson on her cell phone at (202) 340-7038 in the event that you are unable to get to the intersection of First and Bates, N.W. by 12:00 p.m., but you want to catch up with them while they are in the neighborhood.

Notwithstanding the difficulty of these days, I urge you to stay encouraged. With Mr. Fenty's active assistance I have a strong feeling that we are about to take some giant steps towards the progress we have been seeking for years!


Jim Berry
Bates Area Civic Association, Inc.

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