Crime Emergency!

July is on pace to be one of the city’s deadliest on record. Between the murder of Gov. Warner’s former intern, and of the handicapped former mayoral candidate, Police Chief Charles Ramsey has declared a Crime Emergency for the District, which primarily allows commanders to cancel leaves and lengthen shifts as the wave hits its peak.

Ramsey also has announced increase police presence and patrols throughout the city with hopes to quell some of the recent rises in robberies, assaults and, of course, murders.

Crime Emergency? Is it really that much of a surprise that it happens every July?

16 Comments so far

  1. Jenn L (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 6:37 pm

    Isn’t there some sort of study about murder/violent crime rates spiking when the temperature hits 95-98 degrees? Not just DC, but anywhere? I really think there is.

    Or am I just thinking of a Siouxsie & the Banshees song?

  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 7:08 pm

    I’d say that is pretty accurate, I know I wanted to smack the crap out of the commuters today…

  3. Stacey (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 9:06 am

    Maybe if we’d let people defend themselves by the same means they are attacked….

  4. Mik (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 9:23 am

    This hasn’t just happened this July, I believe the same steps were taken last autumn. At the very least, I know from an inside source that there’s been mandatory overtime for quite a while.

  5. chris (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 10:19 am

    Stacey, I hardly think that jungle law is the way to go about solving these problems. Sure it’s fun to put yourself in an old west situation and talk about what you’d do if an attacker came up to you on the street demanding money. Do you think you’d be able to pull the trigger and potentially end somebody’s life? Would you carry the gun in a holster on your side or would you have to reach into your purse to get it out? Do you think you’d do well in a knife fight? I’m not trying to be an asshole here, but putting more guns on the street isn’t going to stop acts of violence.

  6. Stacey (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 10:36 am

    Hi Chris – I agree with you that against a strong male attacker, no, I most likely wouldn’t win in a Wyatt Earp shoot-out, although I am trained in fire arm use and safety – which my attacker (unless he’s a pro) most likely isn’t.

    To me it’s more of a mindset and cultural mind change that if there is the *threat* that your target could even *potentially*, as a law-abiding citizen, be carrying a fire arm or other weapon that said attacker might be even a little less likely to attack. I’d be willing to take even the slightest decrease in those odds to say it was net worth it.

    Aside from second amendment issues, I can’t understand for the life of me, as a woman who used to take very late night grad school classes in DC and who works early mornings and occassionally late nights, why I can’t carry pepper spray and why it carries the same penalties of a weapon that can do permanent harm. While I think District residents (in a lofty ideological principled way) should in fact be allowed to lawfuly carry firearms, I say first things first – let me carry pepper spray.

    From a woman that has been attacked twice before I can tell you that even having it, even if nothing else, makes you feel safer and like you at least have some sort of chance in warding off a potential trouble maker.

    But Chris, I DO like the whole Western scenario… I think I could do Western pretty awesomely.

  7. Heather (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 10:45 am

    And taking guns off the streets of DC clearly hasn’t made a difference either. So personally, I’d like to at least have the option of choosing whether or not to defend myself than having the government be my babysitter (which clearly is not working, either). I live 5 blocks from where the Georgetown murder took place and at least 2 people in my building have been robbed at gunpoint in the last couple months. I’m sick and tired of it. This isn’t about the “Old West.” This is about constitutional rights. And maybe if some of these criminals at least had to think about the fact that the person they’re attacking may have a gun – whether or not they actually do – then maybe they’d think twice about committing the crime in the first place.

  8. Chris (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 11:24 am

    Stacey, I wasn’t aware that pepper spray was outlawed in DC. I think that’s ridiculous, I think people should be able to carry pepper spray.
    Heather, I don’t think most of the criminals out there think twice about anything, that’s part of the problem.

  9. jaime (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 11:46 am

    Stacey, go out and get your pepper spray – it’s legal in DC, but it does have to be registered with the MPD (sorry, couldn’t come up with a link for the registration, though I bought mine at work through this gentleman who gave me the proper paperwork).

  10. UnusualCandor (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 11:46 am

    Chris, if you even take a look at places that have enacted laws to allow their citizens to defend themselves, crime goes down. Criminals for the most part are dumb, but they do realize one thing. If it is possible the person they have marked for attack has a firearm, they might reconsider.

    Might I suggest you look at this website for stories of people who have avoided becoming a victim through the use of a firearm.

    We cannot rely on the police to protect us. The MPD has 3,600 sworn officers. That is one officer for every 153 citizens of DC. They cannot be ever where at everytime to catch people. You should be able to defend yourself.

    This issue and the fact the District taxes people out the wahzoo is reason enough I will stay on the VA side of the Potomac

  11. Don (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 1:57 pm

    My feelings on gun issues are fairly complex so I won’t bother to enter into the pro/nay here except to say that I’m not sure guns would have made the difference in many of these encounters. In particular the armed robberies that Heather mentions would have been helped not at all by the person being robbed having a gun.

    I’ve been through the armed security guard certification process here in VA (don’t ask) and part of the certification involved drawing your weapon from an unobstructed and unsnapped hip holster and firing a few shots in under 4 seconds.

    It’s challenging.

    If your weapon is in a bag or inner-pants holster in the small of your back you’re not going to do even that well. As opposed to your mugger who almost certainly has theirs out and ready. UnusualCandor’s link has 8 success stories, only -one- of which involved people not already ensconced in their own homes.

    Whether guns are good or bad for a community Is Left As An Exercise For The Reader, but I feel pretty confident in saying they’re not the solution to violent street crime.

  12. Chris (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 3:20 pm

    It’s strange that the NRA didn’t publish any stories that featured a potential victim who tried to go Charles Bronson on an assailant and had their gun taken away only to be used against him.

  13. ishan (unregistered) on July 14th, 2006 @ 10:18 am

    Dang it! I’m about to move to Columbia Heights from VA and now I’m reconsidering. I do know, however, that you can have a rifle or shotgun, in your home. I may have to purchase one, after taking a firearms course, of course. Shoot! So to speak. I should pick up one of those steering wheel locking devices, while I’m at it. Crime sucks!

  14. wayan (unregistered) on July 14th, 2006 @ 10:26 am

    Ishan, don’t believe the hysteria = reality, and please, please, do not bring a gun (rifle or pistol) into our city. If you need to have one, leave it with Tom in suburbia. He’s the official DC Metroblogging arsenal.

  15. Don (unregistered) on July 14th, 2006 @ 12:04 pm

    You could probably get 98% of the benefit just by having something that makes the NOISE of a shotgun being racked. I know I’d run…

  16. Teri (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 11:52 am

    I actually called the Metro DC police and as long as the pepper spray is the type purchased at a Wal-Mart/KMart/Academy and has a low level of OC, it can be carried without being registered with the PD. I am visiting DC in August from Arkansas, and I’m pretty pissed that the criminals have guns, but being a law abiding citizen with a concealed carry permit, I can’t carry in DC. I’m sorry, but that’s screwed up!

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.