Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) announced last week that increased police patrols will soon return on weekend nights to the 1900 block of 9th Street NW, thanks to support from 9th Street businesses and the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). Two off-duty officers will patrol the block from midnight until 4 am on Friday and Saturday nights. The extra police presence should start this Friday night.
Under the MPD Reimbursable Detail Subsidy Program, business owners are responsible for 50 percent of the cost of the additional officers and ABRA covers the other half of the expense. Each extra officer costs approximately $55 per hour. The program is designed to supplement the existing police response in Police Service Area 305 and provide extra resources during a time period when many patrons are leaving bars and other establishments on 9th Street.
Twelve business owners have signed on to support the program, including Nellie’s Sports Bar, the JBG Companies, and a number of Ethiopian-owned establishments. According to Tony Lucca, owner of 1905 Restaurant at 1905 9th Street NW, the owners have committed to funding the program for at least six months at a cost of $150 per month for each business. Lucca noted that the program will be a welcome addition and should enhance safety and security on the block and help prevent late-night incidents.
The 1900 block of 9th Street has been the location of high profile cases in the past including the 2007 murder of 17 year old Taleshia Ford inside the now closed Smarta/Broadway Club at 1919 9th Street and the 2010 death of Ali Ahmed Muhammed outside of DC 9 Nightclub.
The block was tied for tenth place in my earlier examination of the highest crime blocks in Borderstan in 2011 (Crime in Borderstan: Do You Live on a “Hot” Street Block?).