Ward 1 residents voice concerns about crime to DC police, city leaders

Troubled by the city’s violent crime, Ward 1 residents gathered Tuesday night for a town hall-style meeting with D.C. police Chief Pamela Smith.

Smith told residents meeting at 8th and Florida Avenue NW that the department is working diligently to hire more officers as residents voiced support for anti-crime measures recently proposed by Mayor Muriel Bowser.

“We are mad. We are scared in this community. There was a murder in our building just 10 days ago. A woman was shot in the face across the street on Saturday,” said Tarak Shah, who lives near 8th and V streets NW, in an interview with WTOP.

“There was a gangland-style shooting in LeDroit Park this weekend,” Shah said. “What are the police and the council doing about that? And we didn’t hear a lot of answers tonight.”

The D.C. Council’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee will be holding a public hearing Wednesday on Mayor Bowser’s Addressing Crime Trends Now Act (ACT Now) bill. Bowser said the measure would provide police with new tools to fight crime.

The proposed legislation includes “commonsense policies” like limiting loitering and declaring drug-free zones, creating criminal penalties for organized retail theft and reinstating the law that makes it unlawful to wear a mask for the purpose of committing criminal acts.

Some residents attending the town hall said it’s crucial the city provide more resources to at-risk youth.

“The city has no outlets for the youth … we just left the Department of Recreation at Columbia Heights. The whole building is locked down,” said Jamar Carpenter, who, along with his brother, works with at-risk youth in Ward 1. “Only the vestibule is pretty much open. There’s no outlets.”

Ward 1 Council Member Brianne Nadeau told the town hall about new bills she’s proposing in the council aimed at making 911 dispatch more reliable and boosting reward money for information leading to arrests.

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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