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Police Districts and PSAs Changing in Borderstan Area

by Borderstan.com — June 22, 2011 at 10:30 am 1,081 12 Comments

MPD, DC Police, Proposed 3D PSAs

Click to enlarge. Proposed Police Service Areas for the Third District. The red lines show the current boundaries of police districts with the map being centered on the Third District. (MPD)

From Matty Rhoades

Police Chief Cathy Lanier’s June 9 presentation at the MPD’s Third District headquarters gave area residents a first chance to comment on the city’s plans for revised police districts.

The proposed new Second and Third District maps show changes for the Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods. There will be some shifting of territory between the districts, but the bigger changes are in Police Service Areas (PSAs) within the districts.

“The district boundaries are set. We are working on the PSA boundaries,” Lanier told the attendees at the Third District meeting on V Street NW. She said they hoped the changes would be in place by the end of the year.

The Second District meeting is scheduled for Wednesday night, June 22.

What’s Changing?

Close to home, there are changes in the boundaries of the Second and Third Districts. A bit of history is in order. In 2007 MPD took what used to be known as PSA 306 and put it in the Second District as PSA 208. The Second District is headquartered in upper Northwest at 3320 Idaho Avenue NW while the Third District is at 1620 V Street NW. With the changes, much of this area will go back to the Third District.

Here is how the proposed PSAs look as of now:

  • MPD is creating several news PSAs in the area so that there are no more “Super PSAs,” such as the current 208.
  • The most noticeable change is the creation of PSA 301, which runs from Q Street north to Florida Avenue and from 14th Street west to 18th Street NW. This PSA incorporates a big chunk of PSA 208 plus pieces of PSAs 303, 305 and 307.

  • PSA 301 divides the 17th Street commercial strip into two districts and thus two PSAs. North of Q Street is in PSA 301 while south of Q is in PSA 208.
  • PSA 305 is smaller and is now truly a U Street corridor service area. The eastern/northeastern chunk with Howard University is put into the new PSA 306. The new district runs from 7th to 14th Streets and from S Street on the south north to Florida Avenue/Barry Place NW.
  • An additional chunk of PSA 307 (Logan Circle) is moved to PSA 208 (and the Second District). This territory runs from 14th Street west to 15th Street and from L Street north to Q Street. However, most of the territory in PSA 208 south of M Street NW goes to PSA 207.
  • The change along 14th Street NW will not, according to Lanier, affect the addresses on the west side of 14th Street that are south of Q Street NW. This means that this part of the 14th Street commercial corridor south of Q will remain in PSA 307 — but the commercial corridor on the 1400 block of P Street will move to PSA 208.
  • A fairly large chunk on the northern side of the Third District, north of Harvard and Monroe Streets NW is slated to go to the Fourth District.
MPD, DC Police, Proposed 2D PSAs

Click to enlarge. Proposed Police Service Areas for the Second District. (MPD)

Behind the Changes

Lanier said that shifting crime patterns and explosive development and population growth in areas close to downtown — including the Borderstan area — made it necessary to redraw the seven district boundaries and shift resources. The goal is to even out the workload between districts and to create new boundaries that reflect current population and development trends, she said.

“Within the last five years, D.C. has added 15,000 new residents and 26,000 more office workers within three miles of downtown,” Lanier said. She said that when drawing the new boundaries they took into account project growth in the city so that the boundaries could, hopefully, stay the same for five to seven years.

Comments (12)

  1. How refreshing to have a PSA redistricting process that is seemingly based on actual statistical analysis rather than political influence. Great news that the Super-PSA 305 will be divided into more manageable pieces.

  2. Several thoughts:

    – It’s nice that 15th Street is no longer on the razor edge of the border. Does that mean we need to come up with a new name? Like MiddleStan? 🙂

    – I don’t understand why the southern border doesn’t go all the way down to Mass Ave west of 15th Street? That’s pretty much part of the neighborhood as well, and the 1st line of residential dwellings north of the biz district.

  3. These proposed PSAs show the impact of letting the police do their jobs in building policing and public safety boundaries. Granted, not everyone is going to be happy whenever you draw a line, but these PSAs are a marked improvement from the current ones.

    Its important to note that BOTH sides of 14th Street will be in the new PSA 305, as MPD is going to use alleys as the dividing lines, not the middle of major streets.

  4. I’ve been active in Dupont cummunity to police relations for 8 years. I’ve met with Chief on the proposal. Below are thoughts.

    Comments:
    1) The move of PSA 306 to PSA 208 (3D to 2D) went well
    2) Most people like the present Ward, ANC, PSA cohesion
    3) Dupont used to be have parts of 5 PSAs. Proposal takes it from 1 to 4.
    4) MPD staffing changes so frequently it’s a job just to keep relationships up
    5) Can’t do Community Policing if you split the community , split 17th Street, and add Logan Circle to lower Dupont/Kalorama

    Rationalization:
    1) Shift 3D south to balance crime
    With proposed lines, 3D still has more crime and calls than 2D
    2) Policing
    a) PSA 208 too big – No more Super PSAs
    b) 2D overburdened?
    Not by stats in presentation
    c) Response time?
    3) Political
    a) U Street pressures?
    b) Econ Dev

    Positives:
    1) Puts Borderstan problem-area in same PSA as people who are effected
    2) Ward 1 not all in 3D. 7 Districts and 8 Wards were instituted for a reason

    Negatives:
    1) Concerned about MPD/citizen communication going forward
    2) Splits the 17th Street district North to South
    Issue and event management unnecessarily complicated
    3) Proposed border change affects 9 ANC SMDs
    4) Few want to go back to 3D – not that 2D is perfect
    a) Sergeant allegedly fleecing old ladies
    b) Detective brandishing his service revolver because his SUV got hit by snow balls
    c) Officer shooting dog in Francis School yard
    d) Some of staff – dumping ground for short-time service
    5) Radio bandwidth was reason to move us to 2D. Still have as many calls.
    6) 1400 P goes to lower Dupont when it is the heart of Logan
    7) Do the residents of 18th/Church have same concerns as Florida/W?

    Counter-Proposal:
    1) Split PSA 208 into largely residential and largely business PSAs but keep both PSAs in 2D
    2) Keep 1400 P in 3D
    3) Pull 1400 R into new Dupont Residential PSA
    4) Move Kalorama-Sheridan if necessary
    5) Consider moving location of 3D building

  5. PutMeBackIn3D

    I think the plan is very good, overall. PLEASE put me back in the Third District. It makes no sense to lump us in with Palisades, Georgetown, Tenleytown, etc. I am sure some people simply want to be associated with what they perceive to be ritzier neighborhoods — not a good reason for drawing police maps.

  6. Jokerswildacesmild

    The only things that mystify me about this are (1) dividing up the 17th Street corridor and (2) that chunk of P Street just west of 14th Street going to 2D. Otherwise, good!

  7. Most important is that the MPD to be able to effectively police the area. However, perhaps with the exception of the Borderstan issues, the current PSA arrangement works really well for the majority in PSA 208. Good communication, good coverage, cohesive neighborhoods. With his many years in the trenches, bringing neighbors and MPD together and being a great public safety advocate, Halligan’s counter proposal suggestions deserve serious MPD consideration.

  8. Yeah, I like the idea of splitting PSA 208 into largely residential and largely business PSAs but keep both PSAs in 2D. Good solution.

  9. Thanks – @Singh and @Lex

    Not many neighbors turned out for the meeting.

  10. I wasn’t able to attend, nor were many neighbors on my block, but we emailed the Chief. Thanks, Rob, for all your dedication to keeping the ‘hood safe.

  11. PulseofUstviaDupontviaKalorama?

    Rob Halligan wrote: “Few want to go back to 3D”

    Did you read this thread, Mr. Halligan? Also, you may claim the mantle of being a Dupont-based police activist for 8 years, but word is you don’t live in Dupont anymore, and even if you did, Dupont is not exactly the blocks close to 3rd District police HQ on U Street, and again, more than a “few” of us who DO live here want to be back in the 3rd District. We speak for us, thanks, instead of a former Dupont activist living in Kalorama or wherever. It makes no sense for me, living within yelling distance of the 3rd District police HQ, to be in a command that’s located over in West End for chrissakes.

  12. Councilmember Graham held a community meeting in Mount Pleasant on Wednesday evening to talk about the MPD intent to separate Mount Pleasant from 3D and shove it off to 4D. In a rare display of unanimity, every one of the 40-plus residents attending the meeting denounced the proposed change, and demanded that Mount Pleasant stay in 3D. Mr Graham called the MPD plan one that would make Mount Pleasant the “Guam” of 4D. My description: Mount Pleasant would become a “bump on the rump” of 4D. The good attention we currently get from the MPD would be replaced by neglect, as 4D focuses its attentions on the crime-plagued northeast border of DC and Prince Georges County.

    Is it really that important that crime, and calls for service, be equally distributed across MPD districts? What is really accomplished by shifting communities out of one MPD district and into another? As numerous residents observed at this meeting, this changes nothing about crime and criminal behavior. It just fiddles numbers on somebody’s spreadsheet, while the reality on the streets is unchanged.

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