Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier and Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans tried to reassure the 60-plus Logan Circle residents at Wednesday’s ANC 2F meeting that the neighborhood was still one of the safest in the District, despite two recent shootings and a spate of robberies involving a stun gun.
Crime in the District, Lanier and Evans argued, has dropped, and the decreases have been even more dramatic in Logan Circle: There was a 40 percent decrease in street robberies and a 26 percent drop in violent crime in the neighborhood from last year to this year so far.
“Three incidents wouldn’t have gotten our attention [in the past,”] Evans said.
The first shooting occurred the evening on Sept. 12 near 14th Street and Riggs Place NW. There were multiple gunshots and one man was shot in the hip. Lanier said police are still working on the case.
“It’s never a good sign when a person was shot and doesn’t want to talk to police,” she says. “When a victim of a crime does not cooperate, our job gets a lot harder.”
A second shooting, with no victims, happened five days later on Sept. 17 nearby on 13th and R streets NW.
And a little more than a week later, there were three reported robberies in the neighborhood involving a stun gun. Robberies involving a stun gun also occurred elsewhere in the city, and on Wednesday morning, police arrested two people they believe to be connected to these incidents.
But residents complained about persistent drug dealers and prostitutes in the area and said there wasn’t enough of a police presence in the neighborhood, one of the most densely populated in the city.
“It’s progressively getting worse and worse,” resident Amit Vyas, whose wife was robbed in the neighborhood, said at the meeting.
Lanier explained her department’s strategy in catching these perpetrators and how resources are deployed, saying there are plain-clothed officers patrolling the areas, so residents may not recognize they’re there. But she said she would look into getting more cops on mountain bikes in the neighborhood, an effective way of patrolling urban areas.
‘The proof will be in the pudding,” says Logan Circle ANC Commissioner Peter Lallas. “I don’t think we yet have the type of resources and the number of resources that we deserve and need from MPD.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery