About 15-20 people attended last night’s PSA 107 meeting with Lt. Michael Thornton at the Liberty Baptist Church. Lt. Thornton was joined by new First District Inspector Alisa Petty, Sgt. Irving Curry and Officers Jeffrey Kopp and Phillipe Jerome. Here is a brief recap:
- December saw a significant crime reduction in PSA 107. There were only 23 crimes in Dec. 2010 – down 60 percent from Nov. 2010 (58) and more than a 50 percent reduction compared to Dec. 2009 (53). While the cold weather likely contributed to the decline, Lt. Thornton noted that crime reduction was significantly higher in PSA 107 than in other PSAs citywide.
- Thefts and theft/auto remained steady, mostly due to thefts at Harris Teeter. MPD is working with the store on potential solutions.
- Bike theft is a big problem right now across the entire city. Lt. Thornton urged residents to keep bikes inside your residence if possible.
- Lt. Thornton thanked residents who alerted MPD that they would be traveling over the holidays. He encouraged residents to contact MPD and ask that their home be put on “special attention” if they plan on traveling.
- Lt. Thornton also thanked Commissioner Jared Critchfield (6B06) for contacting MPD when mysterious yellow stickers were posted on every door in PSA 107. There was concern that the stickers could be used to signal homes where residents were on travel. While the stickers turned out to be a legitimate advertisement, MPD was able to knock on doors and remove the stickers if residents were not home.
- Increased police presence on Pennsylvania Avenue SE will continue indefinitely. Officers have been stationed in cars at various blocks and have also increased their walking routes along Penn.
- Erik Holzherr, owner of Wisdom (1432 Pennsylvania Ave. SE), is reviving a neighborhood watch group he started last year. He hopes to get more residents involved in weekly neighborhood watch walks and noted that walking is a great way to meet your neighbors. Those interested in becoming “block captains” can e-mail Erik directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- I asked Lt. Thornton about speeding along 17th Street SE and whether MPD was enforcing the authorized vehicles only access to the freeway at Barney Circle. MPD is doing what they can to slow traffic down on 17th and is issuing tickets to drivers who use the Barney Circle access point to the freeway.
- Lt. Thornton and attendees thanked PSA 107 officers for helping reduce crime in Dec. and their overall dedication to keeping our neighborhood safe.
If you have questions for MPD, contact Lt. Michael Thornton at Michael.Thornton@dc.gov or 202-425-7659 (cell). For emergencies, always dial 911. The next PSA 107 meeting will take place Thursday, Feb. 17, 7 pm at Liberty Baptist Church (527 Kentucky Ave. SE).