ABC7: MPD holds ’emergency meeting’ to combat Petworth crime
MPD holds ’emergency meeting’ to combat Petworth crime
WASHINGTON (WJLA) – A middle-class neighborhood in Northwest is feeling fatigued by violence. On Saturday, police hosted an ’emergency meeting’ for concerned Petworth residents. It was an open and transparent conversation, centered-on creating realistic strategies to purge crime.
“I live in the neighborhood and I have heard gunshots,” Petworth resident Caroline Ross said.
Ross, one of roughly 75 residents who attended the meeting, supports a grassroots safety push with citizen, police and political involvement.
“I think this issue starts long before the gunshots are fired. I think we can all work together to get the word out there.”
Petworth, which is certainly not immune to crime, witnessed a particularly rough stretch of violence in December.
*Dec. 11, 2014 – A woman was robbed and sexually assaulted while walking near the corner of 13th and Quincy streets NW around 11:30 p.m. The suspect wore a scarf to cover his face.
*Dec. 18, 2014 – A gunman leisurely walked-up to a male pedestrian, pulled-out a gun and fired three rounds. It happened steps away from a crowded Georgia Avenue Petworth Metro station. The shooting was captured by a nearby surveillance camera. The victim survived, and the shooter remains at large.
*Dec. 23, 2014 – A man was shot to death while leaving a carry-out restaurant near Georgia Avenue around 6 p.m. The gunmen fled before police arrived.
“We’ve certainly seen an uptick in calls for gun violence, sounds of gun shots and property damage in results of gun shots,” MPD Lt. Van Crawford said. “Today was all about informational sharing.”
Since January 1, the Metropolitan Police Department has recorded roughly 30 ‘shots fired’ calls in the Petworth neighborhood. Most have turned-out to be false reports (fireworks, helicopter, truck backfiring, etc…), but five did turn out to be legitimate.
“Citizens are experiencing gunshots during broad daylight and that’s a little scary,” DC Councilmember At Large Anita Bonds remarked.
Bonds, who attended Saturday’s emergency meeting insists, whether day or night, police need to be visible on-the-street.
“They can be [proactive] behind-the-scenes, but people want to see it. They need to feel it, and the criminal element needs to feel it too,” Bonds concluded.
Petworth’s most recent shooting happened March 16, at the corner of 3rd and Upshur streets NW. Police say someone opened fire on two men walking along the sidewalk. The men were not hit, but bullets did strike three cars. Detectives say they have a person-of-interest, but have not made an arrest.