Thursday, August 9, 2007

New Meeting Structure Proposed for Community Police Department Meetings

Tonight's D.C. Metropolitan Police Department PSA 501 Northwest meeting yielded four attendees: myself, Tom Usselman (on behalf of the Citizens Advisory Council), Lieutenant Anthony White, and Officer Woodard. Let it also be known that Scott Roberts stopped by after the meeting had concluded. The number of participants was not unusual, so I suggested that substantial change is needed to better utilize the time of the ANC commissioners and MPD.

Those present developed a plan that I believe will greatly increase the effectiveness of PSA meetings and more efficiently utilize the officers' time.

The plan is as follows: PSA 501 will hold its monthly meetings in conjunction with one (and only one) civic association meeting each month, on a rotating basis. One month, the meeting will be held at Bates Civic Association, the next month at Eckington Civic Association, and the next month at Bloomingdale Civic Association. (If Hanover Civic Association begins holding regular meetings, it too should be included in the rotation.)

Individuals seeking to address crime issues should attend whichever civic association is "at bat," and leaders from each civic association are encouraged to attend every meeting. Naturally, the MPD portion of the civic association meeting should probably begin the meeting. MPD is ready to start this schedule right away, beginning with the month of September.

Not only will this more efficiently use MPD time and resources, but I imagine that increased interaction between community leaders will result from this arrangement.

Finally, at the meeting, we also discussed the possibility of MPD conducting self defense classes for residents. Lt. White said that he would look into the D.C.'s registration procedures for pepper spray.

(Photo credit here.)

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