From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.
Federal and local criminal justice leaders met at a public forum on Tuesday night to present plans for interagency efforts to address crime and increase public safety. The meeting at Shiloh Baptist Church at 1510 9th Street NW, was organized by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), an independent D.C. agency designed to promote public safety through partnerships.
The meeting included presentations on interagency efforts in a number of areas including reducing the number of outstanding warrants, integrating substance abuse and mental health services, promoting alternatives to incarceration, improving the juvenile justice system, and ensuring citizens returning from jail and prison are able to reenter successfully.
MPD Chief Cathy Lanier discussed the 2012 Summer Crime Initiative, an effort by the Police Department to focus extra resources on five high-crime areas in order to reduce violent crime. Lanier noted that last year’s initiative successfully reduced homicides in the target areas by 71 percent, robberies and assaults with a deadly weapon by 20 percent, and overall violent crime by 20 percent. This year’s initiative kicks off Wednesday, May 2, and runs through the end of August.
Attendees included Lanier, U.S. Marshal Michael A. Hughes, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Chairman of the U.S. Parole Commission Issac Fulwood, and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul A. Quander, Jr.
The summer crime initiative will use focused prevention and targeted enforcement to address violent crime. Strategies include using intelligence and special units to target high-rate offenders and gang leaders, providing outreach activities to keep youth out of trouble, and using call-in meetings to put offenders under supervision on notice about the consequences for re-offending. These call-in meetings are designed to let parolees and probationers know that if they engage in criminal activity, they will face a swift and severe response from criminal justice agencies.
One of the five target areas for 2012 includes a small portion of Borderstan in Police Service Area 308. The North Capitol and O Street target area covers parts of three police districts (First, Third, and Fifth), and includes the eastern edge of Borderstan, from 7th Street NW to 9th Street NW and from N Street NW up to R Street NW. This target area is being overseen by Third District Captain Juanita Mitchell.
About 50 people attended the CCJC meeting. Interestingly, in a survey of attendees at the start of the meeting, about 40 percent of respondents said they were from Maryland with 20 percent living in Ward 1 and 2 percent in Ward 2. The meeting was taped by the Office of Cable Television and will be shown later on Channel 16.