DC residents asked to keep eyes open in neighborhoods

While the District is on guard against extremists who threaten to disrupt Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, a D.C. police commander has asked residents to look for any suspicious gatherings in their neighborhoods.

First District Commander Morgan Kane — responsible for policing the city’s business and political center, including the neighborhoods of Capitol Hill — asked residents in a Saturday morning virtual community meeting to watch for any suspicious people in their neighborhood homes, parking garages and parking lots.

“We known that Airbnb has canceled all their reservations for the District, but we also know is that there’s Craigslist and another venue called Zeus where people can rent out their properties,” Commander Kane said in the online meeting of residents of the First and Fifth Metropolitan Police Districts.

“So when you all are in your communities, if you see something that looks suspicious — maybe a gathering, maybe a home that has people staying in it that could possibly be here to cause further harm to our city and violence, rioting — notify us.”

Kane told the meeting that police are monitoring activities at D.C. hotels. She also asked residents to keep an eye on their neighborhood parking lots and parking garages.

“Some of the insurrectionists and the protesters … if they can’t find lodging … one way to stay off the grid is to kind of convene in a parking garage and they’ll stay inside of their vehicles,” Kane said.

It’s not just suspicious people, but also suspicious packages that concern police.

“We know that there were pipe bombs that were planted in the immediate vicinity of the Capitol Building the day of the insurrection … the guy that planted those pipe bombs, we still don’t have him in custody … so if you see something that looks out of the ordinary give us a call,” Kane said.

Residents expressed concern during the meeting over the safety and security of their neighborhoods when police are seemingly directing most of their attention to securing the inauguration.

Kane and Fifth District Police commander William Fitzgerald offered assurances that police, working 12-hour shifts, will have enough personnel to maintain neighborhood patrols.

“We still have enough personnel left over to make sure that we are patrolling and engaging the neighborhoods,” Kane said.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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