As soon as D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee III opened their mouths last Friday, the sands of time began burying their joint anti-crime announcement — the 2021 Fall Crime Prevention Initiative.
It’s good that law-and-order types know the city is sticking to its guns and cracking down on violence in general and trigger-happy offenders and reoffenders.
In their announcement, the mayor and the police chief Xeroxed a page from earlier chiefs’ initiatives and listed five neighbors that will be targeted: Anacostia in Ward 8, Brightwood in Ward 4, Columbia Heights in Ward 1, Benning in Ward 7, and Washington Highlands and Bellevue in Ward 8.
Brightwood had to be placed at the top of the hit list, considering the fact that it’s in Miss Bowser’s home ward, and the bloodletting there has outraged homeowners and other residents for months on end. (If you’re totally unfamiliar with the area, simply Google Rock Creek Park, Georgia Avenue and Longfellow or Kennedy Street NW and type Brightwood.)
Republican members of Congress, who sent the mayor their takes on the rise in D.C. crime, can simply locate the old Walter Reed Hospital site and look due south. After all, the mayor is moving to redevelop that land thanks to Congress.
Anyway, what’s truly “bassackwards” about the 2021 anti-crime Fall Crime Prevention Initiative is that the end of the “crime prevention” was announced. The date is Dec. 18.
How stupid is that?
Announcing to thugs, violent offenders and potential thieves to commence their criminal mischief the week before Christmas?
Will the perverts and criminals play keep away because the government says keep away?
Lord knows D.C. needs and residents want respite — make that long peaceful stretches — from crime.
However, treating anti-crime initiatives as if you’re removing the troops from the scenes before they even arrive doesn’t sound like smart politics or smart policing.
After all, as I quoted 7th Police District John Branch as saying just last month: “You put resources and police in one area, and then you have another area, and then you have another area, and this pops up and that slows down and you’re trying to do that. It’s like playing ‘whack-a-mole.’ You’re trying to do the best that you can, but we can’t do this ourselves. We never could.”
• Deborah Simmons can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.