From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.
A neighborhood watch launch in the U Street area drew about 20 residents Tuesday night. The event was also attended by seven officers from the Metropolitan Police Department, including Police Service Area (PSA) 305 Lieutenant Daniel Harrington and Sergeant Mark Jackson, as well as 1B Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and Public Safety Chair Sedrick Muhammad.
The event was organized by by two residents of the and they have formed the 10th to 13th Streets NW group, which covers residents living in the area from 10th Street NW to 13th Street NW between U Street NW and Florida Avenue NW.
The event began with a security walk covering 13th Street, 12th Place NW and 12th Street NW between W Street NW and Florida Avenue NW. These streets have seen a number of incidents in recent months, including a morning armed robbery on 12th Place NW on February 15.
The walk included a number of safety tips from Harrington and other officers. To avoid personal victimization, Harrington reminded everyone to be aware of their surroundings and avoid being distracted looking at phones or other electronic devices. Harrington encouraged residents to put porch lights on in the evening or have motion sensor lights to discourage criminals.
As he noted, “the more light the better.” For residents with alley access, Harrington recommended clearly marking the home’s number in the back so that officers responding from the alley could easily find the house. He also advised residents to report any graffiti to the police. Officers can then attempt to identify any potential gang-related symbols and call in the gang intelligence unit for assistance if necessary. Lt. Harrington also reminded everyone in attendance to always call 911 if they see any suspicious activity.
The security walk was followed by a meet-and-greet with Harrington and other officers at Ulah Bistro on U Street NW.
The group plans to do additional security walks in the coming months covering other parts of the neighborhood. Join the 10th-to-13th Streets NW Google group for more information.