Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Trouble at 14th and U St.

14thandU Trouble, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Something went down around 6:30ish. As you can see there were tons of cop cars. When I went to inquire with a city worker (not a cop) if he knew what happened, he replied "yes, it is a police incident." So I'm glad we got that all cleared up.


Anonymous said...

I'd also like to remind everyone that the cops were out on 7th and Taylor last night writing tickets to anyone who wasn't wearing a seatbelt. So buckle up. Then maybe the cops will go check out 7th and Varnum, which seems to need some law enforcement.

odentex said...

Heard last night that somebody got their car all shot up by somebody with Maryland plates near 3rd and Webster early Tuesday. MPD was out collecting casings and eating do-nuts all over the place for a while. Last time I saw such a gaggle was when a Metro Police car hit a minivan broadside at 16th Street and Columbia last month. It apparently takes no less than 14, that's right *14*, MPD vehicles to block off a major intersection and mill around pointlessly at the scene of a non-injury accident. It was a Saturday evening, so I'm sure there wasn't any crime going on that the 13 other units could have done something about.

I've only been in PW a little while, but I'm a little perturbed that this is the only time I've seen the do-nut munchers -- *after* something has been shot up. What happened to community policing? Aren't there enough units to cover Petworth? I mean, weekends, weekdays, morning, afternoon, evening -- I don't see you out there.

If I don't see you that means people engaging in "business" on Webster (between 3rd & 4th *hint, hint*) that gets them (and sometimes their neighbors) shot up by folks driving in from Maryland also don't f'ing see you.

Anonymous said...

Yeah yeah yeah, the police suck. But does anyone know what happened at 14th & U?

Anonymous said...

Re the police writing tickets at 7th and Taylor. I suspect ( and hope) that was an effort on their part to discourage costumers to the house close to that corner that is creating the drug traffic on that block (and through the alley way I share with it.)

Anonymous said...

Anybody? Bueller? Anybody know what happened at 14th and U????

odentex said...

Anon: Maybe someone dropped a do-nut?

non-donut po po said...

Always with the donuts. I'm sure everyone out there keeps away from all snacks.

By the way, 16th and Columbia is a different district, 3D, than Petworth, 4D. And I think that incident you're referring to is actually an incident in which an MPD officer died of his injuries. So, "14" officers responding sounds about right.

odentex said...

The incident I observed involved a Metro transit police vehicle, not MPD, and a minivan and nobody from either vehicle appeared to be taken away from the scene by DCFD, though both a truck and ambulance came by. This was all viewed from the a SW corner balcony(where I was living at the time). While traffic control and investigation might call for a few units, there were clearly two to three groups of MPD officers milling about the aformentioned 14 radio cars. The whole incident didn't last for a tremendous amount of time, maybe 30-45 minutes to clear, but was such a large MPD response proportional to the incident?

And while I am sorry to hear about the MPD officer getting killed in the accident you mention, unless fellow officers are witnesses or necessary to the investigation, what effect does their presence at car accidents (fatal or otherwise) have on the rest of the patrol district? Maybe nothing, but it's a fact they weren't on patrol.

I'm no dummy, I understand that you will (and have to) look out for each other, and I assume that's why so many units showed up when the transit officer was hit, but it is equally understandable if some citizens see this sort of thing and wonder who is looking out for them.

DC actually has a pretty good ratio of officers to citizens, 3800 officers in a city this size is above average (Dallas has 1/4 less), and the MPD brass talk a good game about "community policing", so's how's come I rarely see officers patrolling?

I know "papering" is a hassle, and you're trapped in superior court all day, but is this really supposed to make us feel better?

I also know that some MPD officers believe that the public hates them pointlessly, that there are systemic management problems, that officers feel like they can get in trouble for BS and the department won't back them, that the job is stressful and dangerous.

This all may be true, but regardless of whose fault that is, I'd like to see MPD on my block BEFORE the shell casings are being collected.

You'll note that I'm not mentioning some of the other "problems" sometimes reported in the media regarding the, shall we say, lack of enthusiasm some MPD officers for the department and the public (and their dogs), because that's not the whole picture. I'm concerned with what I've seen and experienced.

True, the do-nut comments are over-the-top -- obviously so -- but I am honestly concerned about the lack of police presence in this community, so don't let my mirth confuse you.

Maybe the humble DC flatfoot can't do a thing about this -- running from call to call, trapped under a avalanche of paperwork in Judiciary Square -- but when officers do show up and then suggest that it's the choice of neighborhood that's to blame (as mentioned elsewhere), color me unimpressed with that excuse.

Nobody expects MPD to waive magic wands and cure crime, but if the local "businessmen" know you don't patrol, or if you do you won't make an arrest because it's too much paperwork and hassle, then it isn't much of a deterrent.

I love donuts said...

Well, just so you're clear, the 3800 number your refer to is the entire department, not the number of patrol officers. Less than half are actually assigned to "patrol".

I can't speak to the incident you're referring to, and I won't speculate. But you're right, sometimes, a lot of times, there is milling about. And I agree there is a lack of enthusiasm with many officers, but there are many contributing factors that I won't get into.

The only hope, is that the number of new officers that have been coming into the department, and new mayor and chief, one that has come through the ranks, will add some fresh air into a department that has had to deal with a leadership regime that squashed the enthusiasm out of many an officer.

odentex said...

Donuts: Amen to that. I want to see some espirt de corps and some kick-in-the-butt of drug dealers!

As a side note, I was very joyous yesterday as I saw *two* of your brothern patrolling on Webster near Grant Circle.

And this morning? A paddy wagon AND a radio car rolling down Upshur.


Erm... I hope y'all aren't looking for me?!?