Everyone deserves to feel safe in their neighborhood, at all hours, without exception. When we fall short of that goal we need responsive leadership on the DC Council and within the Metro Police Department. As I’ve spoken to people throughout Ward 6, I have heard too many stories of requests being ignored or dismissed by our current leadership. There are few things more unnerving than feeling unsafe in your own neighborhood, so instances of crime demand immediate response, in the form of increased community engagement and collaboration with MPD, enhanced lighting, and other deterrents.
Beyond demanding immediate responsiveness from our councilmember when there is a problem, residents should be afforded a greater opportunity to collaborate on a rolling basis. Meetings can't only occur after there has been a problem. The ideas and concerns I’ve been hearing from our neighbors should be heard by the city, and acted upon when it comes time to create tailored policies and strategies to meet the diverse needs of our many unique neighborhoods throughout the Ward.
We need more community policing in our Ward. I've spoken to many neighbors in Ward 6 who express a preference for officers spending more time on bike patrol rather than in their squad cars, so it's a policy shift that must be taken seriously. While mere presence serves as a targeted deterrent, we should always be seeking to improve responsiveness and engagement within communities. Additional bike patrols would allow for an opportunity to interact with the neighborhoods officers patrol, and increased plain clothes patrols could improve responsiveness and provide an additional layer of deterrent, especially in the evening hours.