The Corner Forum
Sunday, April 18, 2004
Issue #65

Outreach Specialist: Calling 311, 911 Increases Number of Officers in Area

By Libo Liu, 500 block of 14th Street NE

Area residents, city officials and police officers met for the last time on Wednesday, April 14, 2004, before the new Police Service Area (PSA) plan takes effect on May 2.

Lt. Caldwell, the head police officer for PSA 511, which currently encompasses the Corner Forum area, led the evening's agenda. He said nearly all police officers who are regularly assigned to this PSA and other adjacent PSAs will be assigned to the new First District. That is considered to be good, because the new PSA 103, into which the current PSA 511 will be absorbed, will be part of the First District. It will increase the chance that these same officers will be assigned to patrol the neighborhoods they are already familiar with. Lt. Caldwell indicated that he might head the new PSA 103, although that wasn't official yet.

Peter Jones, the D.C. Neighborhood Coordinator for Ward 6, briefed those at the meeting more information about safety in the neighborhood. He said the city has identified 14 so-called violent-crime hot spots in D.C., with three in Ward 6. One such hot spot is located in the Benning Road/Rosedale area, just a few blocks from the Corner Forum area. Mr. Jones said this particular hot spot is the "most challenging" one, because of lack of community involvement. Mr. Jones said his primary job is to make sure city services get delivered to citizens in Ward 6. He listed trash pickup and parking zoning as examples of such services. He urged residents to contact him if calling the Mayor's Call Center at 727-1000 does not yield satisfactory results. He can be reached at 698-5622 or peter.jones@dc.gov.

Further valuable information came from John Davis, the Fifth District Community Outreach Specialist. Having served with D.C. Police for over 28 years, Mr. Davis offered perhaps the single most important advice for the evening, saying, "As a former police officer, a current Community Outreach Specialist, and a D.C. resident, I will tell you this: the number of police officers you would like to have patrolling your neighborhood depends on the number of phone calls you make to D.C. Police's emergency and non-emergency help line [311] when you see a problem, even if you don't think any police officer will come. "

When our new PSA 103 becomes part of the First District, our new Community Outreach Specialist will be Teresa Jackson. She can be reached at 727-5413.

The first meeting for the new PSA 103 is scheduled to take place May 12, 2004, at Miner Elementary School, at 15th & F Streets NE. Subsequent meetings will be held there on the second Wednesday of every month. §