Safe on the Mall? Not so much.

Two days after the Crime Emergency (should there be an exclamation point there?) is announced, the Post is following up on their earlier look at Mall Robberies:

The attacks on the Mall happened beneath a stand of cherry trees late Tuesday, when the robbers pounced twice along the south slope of the Washington Monument. The holdups followed three highly publicized robberies in May in another area of the Mall where violence had been rare. No arrests have been made in the earlier cases, and police said yesterday that the same people might be responsible.

With the Mall under siege, the murder and robbery and assault rates significantly higher than they’ve been, does this mean we’ll finally, as a community begin to address the root issues of crime in DC? Are we going to start talking about family cohesion? Failing schools? Poverty? Abuse? Drugs?


Adrian Fenty has put up his Public Safety brief (PDF) and Linda Cropp has displayed hers as well (HTML), but both seem to be heavy on community policing, and emergency response instead of dealing with crime at its root levels. Marie Johns’ website doesn’t seem to acknowledge we even have a crime problem, which is a shame. Her blog also hasn’t been updated since the end of June, which is also a shame.

Should we be looking to the leadership of the city for answers about crime? Or should we be looking back into our community for the answers?


5 Comments so far

  1. Mik (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 10:37 am

    They say it takes a community to raise a child. Based on that, I say it takes a community to protect its City.

  2. Robert (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 11:02 am

    It would great to look to the community for support, but unless it hits them or their loved ones, most people in “the communities” couldnt care less. Keep in mind that DC is made up of many communities. Will the white Republican living in an expensive house near Cleveland Park have the same concern for the poor in Southeast or on Georgia and Kennedy street? Or will the black people who live in Section 8 housing care about the poor Latinos struggling in the outskirts of Adams Morgan.

    The “community” is made up of people struggling to get theirs. They wont care about the crime wave in DC, like I said, until it affects them.

  3. Don (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

    I think we could do more to improve safety on the mall with some strategic lighting as well. I took a visitor to see the WWI memorial some months back and we proceed from there to the edge of the reflecting pool and over to the WWII monument. If you’ve never been there at night you cannot imagine just how dark it is. I cannot imagine the south side of the monument is much better.

  4. Billy (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 1:15 pm

    I must agree with Robert, however, many of these communities are affected already by crime. There are murders all the time in SE DC. Sure, they don’t get the ink that a Georgetown murder gets, but crime is rampant in these communities. What we need is LEADERSHIP. The DC government and our elected officials need to take a page from Giuliani’s book … aptly called “Leadership” … and show some courage when it comes to crime. Crime is best addressed with a zero tolerance policy. Growing up in CT, I remember going to NYC with my parents and walking, at a fast clip, through Times Square. My mom and dad would grip us so close to them that we must have looked like a tangled blob of arms and legs rushing on the sidewalk. We avoided eye contact with people on the street. We certainly didn’t stop to muse over the sites or architecture or a storefront window. Now, Times Square is Disney Land. Giuliani stepped up and said that no crime would be tolerated in NYC. He instructed his police force to treat spitting on the sidewalk the same way they’d treat a thief or an assault. In turn, the communities in NYC began to see their city change. With that change, they saw that someone in City Hall gave a rat’s ass about them and was fighting for them. Then, they began to take ownership of their city. On the contrary, the DC Government has historically rolled over for anything that stood in it’s way. How much talk have we heard about “cleaning up” the neighborhoods? F’ing Marion Barry used to run on that platform all the time, reminiscent of his younger days as a crusader on foot through the tougher neighborhoods. Where has that rhetoric brought DC? It’s time for someone to step up to the plate and lead. Someone who will refuse to allow the nooses of nepotism, corruption, special interests and complaisance slowly and painfully strangle Washington.

    DC politicians could use and infusion of Giuliani’s leadership.

  5. Ed (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 6:36 pm

    Billy is correct. We need judges that will put criminals in jail and a Chief of Police that is proactive rather than reactive.

    D.C. tolerates rundown vacant buildings, drug addicts and bums in our parks and libraries, prostitutes on our corners, failing schools, and abuse of the disabled. It can’t even direct traffic during a rain storm. Read any report of the Office of the Inspector General ( and you will see that we need better leadership.

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