Southwest is a tremendous neighborhood, though it is always important to prioritize our safety. With the current long, winter nights, there are a few things in mind:
Find Out What is Going on in your Neighborhood—PSA and CAC Meetings
DC has eight Wards, but is divided into seven police districts. Each police district is further divided into police service areas or PSAs. In our case, Southwest is in Ward 6, the First Police District 1 and PSA105. The Navy Yard is also Ward 6 and First District but is PSA 106. At each monthly PSA meeting, officers relate crime trends in that area and offer safety tips to attendees.
Each police district also has another group, the Citizens Advisory Council. The First District meetings occur the First Tuesday of the month. However, call the First District Station Desk at 202-698-0555 to confirm time and location.
According to their site https://hsema.dc.gov/page/alertdc, ALERTDC is “the official District of Columbia communications system allowing you to pick the type of emergency alerts, notifications, and updates directly from the District of Columbia’s public safety officials. By staying informed, AlertDC is your personal connection to real-time updates and instructions to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your neighborhood.”
This tool provides notification of items of your choosing, the geographic areas of concern and allows you to choose to receive the information as a text or email message. You are able to modify your selections at any time for a custom fit.
Know Common Crimes Occurring in the Area
Theft from Autos: Though they are decreasing in number, thefts from autos remain an issue in our area. Valuable items such as laptops, cameras, and money are stolen out of vehicles every month.
Tip: A former Sergeant in 105 offered the following suggestion during a PSA Meeting in 2016: If you do not plan to take your purse or briefcase with you when you exit your vehicle, remove any desired components (money, card, keys and phone from purse) and lock the bag/case in your trunk before you leave home. This way a thief viewing potential prospects does not see you lock the item in your trunk and leave it behind when you reach your destination.
Theft of Cell Phones: Every night people walk off a metro train, go up the steps and walk home without lifting their heads. Most have earbuds in and are listening to music. Being unaware of your surroundings makes you a target of a crime of opportunity.
Tip: If you have your earbuds in, lower the volume of the music so you can hear if someone is following you. This is especially important at night. Walk/run in well-lit areas and try to exercise with a partner. The overall idea is that you do not want to be assessed as a good target.
More tips on crime prevention are available on the Metropolitan Police Department web site where you can read tips and download brochures: https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/safety-and-crime-prevention.
By Georgine Wallace