January 31, 2006

PUSH ME, PULL. Crime has spiked in Adams Morgan so the metropolitan Police Dept. pulls officers from other areas to deploy more in the area. "When are these band-aid reactionary solutions going to stop and when are we going to get an effective management and policing solution" for Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle and other areas served by the Thrid District, asks Scott Pomeroy of the of the MidCity Business Assn.

With the unfortunate death of a man beaten in the alley off of 18th Street, the drive to do something will only grow stronger. Larry McCoy, commander of the 3rd Police District, said the number of officers in Adams Morgan will grow to as many as 23, up from five to 10 on a typical Thursday, Friday or Saturday night.

"So tell me which of these neighborhoods are we pulling resources in this redeployment?" asks Pomeroy. Is it going to be Mount Pleasant, where they are still hoping to find out who killed Gregory Shipe, or LeDroit Park, where crime at 7th & T has resulted in several shootings and homicides, or Dupont Circle where muggings and assaults are on the rise?

Reacting to the critics, Councilman Jim Graham said "we should never have to pit one neighborhood against another on the basis of scarce police resources." Graham, along with Councilman Adrian Fenty, proposes using current year surplus dollars to hire 500 new police officers (and related resources) for the neighborhoods.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Allowing for well-regulated handgun ownership in the District is another solution. I am not advocating "guns for everyone" like the NRA advocates, but rather a relaxation of our total ban on handguns as exists today. Guns in the hands of the right people is a good thing. For example, we want our police officers to have guns. The police can't be everywhere, but good, upstanding citizens without felony convictions or other disqualifying factors can be, and they should be allowed to own and carry handguns in the District. Had this been the case in Adams-Morgan last week, the lack of a nearby gun-carrying officer could have been mitigated by a gun-carrying citizen. We can redeploy and hire and hire till there are police on each and every block of places like Adams-Morgan, and we still wouldn't have enough police. We'd just have a police state ...

dcbubble said...

On behalf of all the innocent bystanders in DC, we want to applaud the fact that you have not been placed in charge of our fair city.

urbannomad said...

I disagree with Anonymous, but I do believe with a background check and training courses qualified residents should be able to own and keep a regulated # (1) of gun(s) in their house. That said, I am stongly against carrying concealed weapons... that just seems like such an obviously bad idea. However, when considering the murder rates of the previous decades I do think extreme times can require exteme measures (meaning an all out ban-- 0 tolerance policy toward guns being necessary and understandable). I know it's a passionate subject but just my opinion, even if it is off topic.

Anonymous said...

urbannomad, you are NOT disagreeing with what I said. You are in fact concurring with it 100%. I did't say we should have concealed weapons. I said "well-regulated gun ownership" ... i.e., training courses, strict background checks, etc. I don't believe gun ownership is a right, it is a privilege. I have never owned a gun and probably never would even if they were allowed here, but I do think we've gone way too far in the complete outlawing of handguns in this city. As it stands, only the criminals have guns ... and they know it. We need to move to a model of gun ownership/regulation more in line with most places in this country. Just like we don't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry possessing a gun, we also don't want criminals to think they are safe to mug, kill, and generally terrorize because they know that it is impossible to have so many police that they are everywhere. And frankly, I don't want to live in a place where they ARE everywhere. Like I said earlier, THAT is a police state.

urbannomad said...

But you stated "the lack of a nearby gun-carrying officer could have been mitigated by a gun-carrying citizen." It's this idea that I completely disagree with. And I don't want to get into some long drawn out arguement here I just want to clearify, I meant people should be able to have a gun in their home to protect it and everything inside. However, I do not believe the privilege of gun possession should extend outside of the home and into the streets. Believe me I am from Houston and in Texas "guns are for everyone!" and regardless of background checks and training, otherwise "standup" citizens can and often do act very irresponsibly when given the right to carry a gun around and use it at his/her discretion. I can't count the number of times I had a gun pointed at me for cutting someone off or some other small traffic-related issue. When people get extremely angry the line between law-abiding citizen and criminal blurs very quickly. Not to mention a background check is only good if someone has BEEN CAUGHT or put in the right situation. And I think gun laws should strictly take that into account.

Living in a very large american city there is a certain amount of accepted risk we must assume when we venture outside especially at night in unfamiliar places, but I wouldn't say that risk will descrease at all if we have guy good vs bad guy shoot outs in the streets. :) We just have to be reasonably careful and smart about things in the city.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. Arming the group of people who pour out of the bars onto 18th St. after a long night of drinking? I don't see what could go wrong.

Anonymous said...

urbannomad, thanks for the clarification. I see what you mean, but I don't know how you're going to get a gun into your home if you can't carry it in the street. Also, does this mean someone with a gun in their home couldn't take it outside in response to screams for help? I definitely do understand your concern. And I too don't want to see a society like Texas' were guns are the rule of law. I want to see a society more like Maryland's or Pennsylvania's or even New York's were per capita crime is generally much lower than ours ... and where they haven't gone to the extreme of trying to ban ALL private ownership of guns. We've tried that here, and it hasn't worked. It's time to try something else ... but definitely not the Texas model!

signed, "original anonymous" ... i.e., that wasn't me with that 18th street crowd comment.