Monday, September 1, 2003

FW: Dupont Public Safety Committee Report

DCCA/ANC2B Joint Public Safety Committee Report

By Gil Hill (DCCA) and Rob Halligan (ANC 2B), Co-Chairs

(The below will appear in DCCA's section in the Sept 10 Dupont Current)

During the Summer there have been a number of developments in the Public Safety arena that we would like to bring to the attention of Dupont Circle residents. The report contains issues and actions that have emerged over the Summer, but first, we need to plead with Dupont residents to work with us to address and solve Dupont Circle Public Safety problems.

The first opportunity to do this will be September 16 at the 3rd District Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters (MPD), 1620 “V” Street, NW, where the DCCA/ANC2B Joint Public Safety Committee will meet at 7:00pm. There are many opportunities for action to prevent Public Safety problems and a number of them, including the following, will be explored at the meeting.

Formation of a “Neighborhood Watch” to identify and report Public Safety problems to the Metropolitan Police. Volunteer to be a Block Captain who conveys info to and from neighbors to MPD.

Complying with an MPD request to place house numbers on the back of houses so that they are visible from the alleys that run behind houses in Dupont. This aids MPD officers who respond to reports of crime (911 calls). We have conducted our own informal tour of alleys and find that compliance with this request is erratic. MPD officers tell us that it is vital for their success. Please put your house number on the back of your house.

Using the engraving machine at the available at the 3rd District to put your name on objects for identification in case they are stolen. Licenses and engraving for bicycles can be purchased from the 3rd District station for similar reasons. In addition, residents should record and store the serial numbers of important household items to aid in identification should they be stolen.

Prevention of Graffiti. The most effective way to prevent the spread of Graffiti is to remove it as soon as it appears. Residents must accept responsibility for this as soon as they notice it. There are 2 commercially available products that are quite effective, “Graffiti Eater” and “Graffiti Off”, if they are used quickly. The longer Graffiti stays on a surface, the harder it is to remove.

A new effort called “Secure The Call” to program out of date, but still useful, cell phones to call 911/311 needs to be initiated in Dupont. This would make it possible for residents who encounter Public Safety problems to call 911/311 to report crime when they are away from a landline phone. People could also use these phones like those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” services.

In order to insure that repeat offenders are not let out on the street to repeat their crimes, the enforcement of “Stay Away” orders issued by the U.S. Attorney and local judges needs to be employed more effectively. To reduce the “revolving door of criminals” cycling onto Dupont streets we need to encourage our judges to hold in DC jail frequent and repeat offenders when they are awaiting trial. The Joint Dupont Public Safety Committee has been contacting US Attorneys and judges to implore them to consider the impact on our community when releasing particular suspects on their own recognizance. Please write the Chief Judge of the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, Rufus King, at to ask him to implement this policy in all such cases.

An effort to strengthen the DC laws regulating pawnshops was begun in the Joint Dupont Public Safety Committee because MPD believes the laws allow some pawnshops to function as fencing operations for stolen goods.

There have been a couple of reports of a Peeping Tom – pull those curtains!

The 3rd District Citizen’s Advisory Council, that reports to the Commander of the 3rd District (Commander McCoy) and to MPD Chief Ramsey needs members. Their next meeting is September 25 at the 3rd District headquarter at 7:00pm. Included in the agenda will be the development of plans to hold an election of officers.

We are pleased to report that due to lots of neighborhood participation and lots of good work by the MPD, a major crime problem on Riggs Place, burglars who broke down doors on Riggs and 25 other locations have been arrested. This success is motivating us to try to grow the Neighborhood Watch system that helped stop this crime spree to all of Dupont.

Below are a couple Volunteering Opportunities:

1 - Chess Club for Junior High Students

The Mayor’s Ward 2 CORE Team presents a chess club for Junior High Students. The classes start Saturday, September 6, 2003 from 10 AM to 12 Noon at The Third District Station, 1620 V St. NW. Note: The class is limited to the first 20 students who sign up. For more information contact Stephanie Bragg at 202-671-1892. A permission slip needs to be filled out and can be obtained at the Station Desk in 3D.

0r 2 - For Love of Children (FLOC) is a non-profit organization committed to

helping families, and specifically children in the community. As a part of

FLOC's overall mission, the Neighborhood Tutoring Program (NTP) serves over

500 students in the Shaw community through one-on-one tutoring in a highly

structured and successful reading and math tutoring program.

We're looking for volunteers to tutor children and adolescents in the Shaw

neighborhood once or twice a week. The following program times are


Saturday 10am-12pm (Elementary age children)

Tuesday 6:00-8:00pm (Teenagers--READING


Tuesday / Thursday 9-11am (1st - 4th grades)

Tuesday / Thursday 12:30-2:30 (8 and 9th grades--MATH ONLY)

Tuesday / Thursday 3:00- 5:00pm (1st - 6th grades)

Monday / Wednesday 4:30- 6:00pm (1st - 6th grades)

If you're interested in tutoring please contact us at 202-349-3509 or

Why we need your help!

A student at FLOC's alternative high school recently took her SAT. Her

score was a 530-combined. This score put her in the 70th percentile of

students in D.C. This means that 70% of students in D.C. score below 530 on

the SAT. And these are the higher achieving students who take the SAT.

Students in low-income areas of D.C. suffer the consequences of problems

with public schools, and the difficulties of growing up in an environment

that does not necessarily value education as a top priority. I'm writing to

see if anyone is interested in volunteering to tutor some of these students.

Shaw is a low-income area in NW where 51% of the households are headed by

single females, and 36% of children live in poverty. In Shaw 40% of high

school students drop out of school, and 41% of the residents have less than

a ninth grade education. Almost all of our students test way below grade

level, and many simply can't read. As you know, it's hard to get a good job

when you can't read. And it's even harder to move out of poverty if you

can't find a job.

Our Program Works!

Our program started in 1995 with 6 students. Over the years, our students

have flourished. Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved, students in

the program increase their math and reading levels on average by 1 year and

3 months for every 22 hours of tutoring. Think about that, come one evening

a week, meet for an two hours, and one lucky child has the opportunity to

improve their reading and math skills a full grade level and more in only

six months. It also helps that these are just such great kids.

Several students give back to the program in many ways. One special student

began with us as one of the original six students. She graduated from high

school in 2002 and is scheduled to begin her sophomore year at Marymount

University in the fall. She has been giving back to the program as a tutor

to an adorable student in our Saturday morning program for the past two


We're now looking at reaching out to students across the city. But in order

to do this, we need more tutors. With your help, our organization seeks to

provide the children in our program with the tools and motivation necessary

to escape the cycle of drug abuse, crime, unemployment, and poverty that has

afflicted so many in their parents' generation. The ability to read well,

to excel in school, and the desire to learn are prerequisites to breaking

this cycle. We need volunteers to join us in this effort!