New police district and police service area (PSA) boundaries are going into effect January 1 as part of a plan to “improve the delivery of police services in the District of Columbia” (see Chief Cathy Lanier’s presentation on the 2011 Police Boundary Realignment Plan).
As previously reported, the boundary shifts will bring significant changes for some parts of Borderstan (Police Districts and PSAs Changing in Borderstan Area; Police District Boundary Realignment to Affect Dupont Area).
New PSA Boundaries
PSA 301. Currently, the Borderstan area is largely located within PSAs 305 (U Street) and 307 (Logan) in the Third District, and PSA 208 (Dupont) in the Second District (a very small part of Borderstan is also in PSA 308 (Convention Center). Starting January 1, PSA 301 will also shift to the Borderstan area, incorporating chunks of PSAs 208, 305 and 307. (PSA 301 in its current form is in the northern part of the Third District in an area that is shifting to the Fourth District.) PSA 301 will run from Q Street NW up to Florida Avenue NW/W Street NW on the north, and from 14th Street NW to 18th Street NW.
PSA 305. PSA 305 will shrink significantly in size, and will now fall almost entirely within Borderstan’s boundaries, going from Georgia Avenue NW/7th Street NW to 14th Street NW and from S Street NW up to Florida Avenue NW/Barry Place NW. Currently PSA 305 also includes neighborhoods surrounding Howard University, which will now fall in a newly created PSA 306.
PSA 307. PSA 307, the Logan Circle PSA, loses territory west of 14th Street NW — some going to PSA 301 and some to PSA 208. However, under the new boundaries, all addresses on the west side of 14th Street in the current 208 will remain in 208.
PSA 208. The new PSA 208 will also be much smaller, as the new boundary plan eliminates “super PSAs” including the current 208 that tend to be the largest in each district. Part of this size reduction will come from the changes to PSA 301, which will cover territory that is currently largely in PSA 208. PSA 208 will, however, take over one area currently in the Third District as the boundary between PSA 208 and PSA 307 is moving from 15th Street to 14th Street.
Distribution of Workload for MPD
The boundary changes are designed to more equally divide the workload between the seven districts in the city. Because of population shifts and increases since the last major realignment took place in 2004, some districts in the city were handling a disproportionate share of crime incidents and calls for service. Some of these population increases were concentrated in the Borderstan area (see Census Frenzy: Ward 2 Population up 16%, Ward 1 up 4%).
The Third District, for example, currently handles 16.7% of crime incidents based on data presented by Chief Lanier in July, which is the greatest proportion in the city. Year to date crime data suggest this proportion may have even increased. The Third District is responsible for 18.5% of the city’s Part I incidents for 2011 (as of December 18).
Under the realignment plan, the Third District’s share would drop to 14.7%, which is closer to the 14.3% of crime incidents each district would handle if the workload was equally distributed among the seven districts.
Third District Commander Jacob Kishter expressed his excitement about the redistricting plan. “We look forward to providing improved police services to the community and building on our partnerships.”
ANC Commissioner Matt Raymond (ANC 2F-04), who represents an area in PSA 307, agreed that more evenly distributing the work of the MPD is important, but recommended that future realignment efforts better coincide with the political redistricting that occurs for other DC government boundaries (e.g. wards, ANCs) every 10 years as a result of the census, since both processes are based on changes in population. “This would provide greater continuity for public safety within neighborhoods and better coordination between police and elected officials.”
In the Second District, the significant decline in the size of PSA 208 will also, not surprisingly, decrease the proportion of crimes and calls handled in the PSA. The new boundaries will decrease the percentage of crime incidents in the Second District within PSA 208 from 37.01% to 22.21%.
While the shifts in district and PSA boundaries will more evenly distribute the police workload, Rob Halligan, who runs the Dupont Public Safety Committee, pointed out that the boundary changes “will require lots of work building new communications between MPD and the citizens.”
What: Special meeting of ANC 2B/Dupont on proposed changes to PSAs in the Dupont area.
When: Thursday, July 28, from 7 to 9 pm
What: International Student House, 1825 R Street NW
Why: MPD has proposed altering the police service area boundaries. The changes include, among other items, the northeast portions of the current Dupont Circle ANC area (PSA 208) going to the Third District and the “Borderstan” area unified under one PSA, drawing in parts of current Logan Circle ANC. This is a forum to discuss the proposed changes and provide community input. MPD leadership has been invited to attend.
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.
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.