Bryce Suderow is hardly “the District’s last angry man when it comes to police issues” (“Fight Club,” 11/12)—something that would have dawned on reporter Jason Cherkis if he had bothered to peruse a variety of community newsletters or attend advisory neighborhood commission meetings in any of many District neighborhoods.
Apart from that, didn’t it strike Cherkis as the least bit odd that residents satisfied with police efforts would choose to spend “a long night at 15th and C Streets”?
Under Chief Ramsey, the structure of patrol service areas has been changed and the goals of community policing severely undercut.
While my Dupont Circle neighborhood does not have the sort of problems faced by PSA 109 East, it does have problems—problems that are not well-addressed by the 3rd District specifically or the Metropolitan Police Department in general. Even the Washington Post Metro section managed to shake off its lethargy to report in October that the 3rd District Headquarters had several phone lines that were not functional, including the main number listed in the phone book.
Incidents like that leave residents at the mercy of the dispatch operators. When I called Dispatch one Thursday evening in September to report brawling and noise, I was told by a supervisor, Sgt. Curtis Addison, that the police considered Thursday (along with Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) to be a weekend, and that noise disturbances on weekends were not a priority.
The Washington City Paper’s decision to scrap a serious investigative piece in favor of a tabloid-inspired feature article speaks volumes about the City Paper’s journalistic priorities.