June BACA Minutes

Please find the minutes from the June BACA Meeting below or by clicking on this link: Bates Area Civic Association Meeting Minutes 6.4.18

Bates Area Civic Association

Meeting Minutes

June 4, 2018
Convened 7:05

MPD Updates

  • Commander Fitzgerald, Captain Williams, and Sargent Brown joined for the meeting.
  • The Commander shared the following about the recent gun-related violence in the area:
    • Most concerning were the shots fired on the 100 Block of Q Street; extra scary because no one was hurt – it means anyone could be hurt. It appears that there was a shooting back and forth.
    • There is now a police car stationed in the parking lot of the COOP. The Commander wants the car visible, but it is a bandaid approach.
    • Some violence has been displaced to Bates. MPD walked the block and talk to individuals, shell cases were recovered.
    • This weekend, an individual was shot in the foot claimed he was on Q Street, but the Commander does not believe it occurred here.
  • The Commander then talk in terms of solutions — wants to keep an open mind about any solutions.
    • Over the last year, it has been very quiet, but the park at Fla/North Cap contained a lot of people. Now we have people roaming the neighborhood, which is resulting in a displacement of MPD resources. For example, now increased on O Street, NW because people eat after SOME and hang out. Wants to focus on getting help to O Street and Hannover because it drains the resources away from other crime. Along that, goes with employment services etc. Never should have put a fence up at North Cap/Fla without addressing the problem in the area and making sure that they get help.
      • (McDuffie) Discussion about the park at North Cap/Fla – whether or not we are talking about residents who are homeless, have mental health issues, or engaged in violence. The CM secured resources, but agrees that there needs to be other interventions. Get back to the table to figure out what other issues are being taken. DDOT also brought traffic realignment to the table.
      • Travis from the Dept of Public Health – when the different departments were all meeting, it was very effective. Recommends it continue.
    • Recently, there was a stabbing in NoMa following school — need to give them a sense of safety. Also drains resources. Now that school is ending, there is more focus on Q Street.
  • Updates from Ms. Leeks, President of the COOP: The COOP provided a private security force for 6-7 months. Funding began to be a problem because it was $9,000/mo, so security forces were working reduced hours during the times of the shootings. They now have a new company.
    • Most important thing is for the MPD to know when security will be there and when they wont be so that they can pick up the slack. COOP also identified people and should have ability to put out debarment notices and make arrests.
  • Regarding MPD camera light towers: Currently, there are not any light towers in the 5th District — one is being fixed and the other is in Ward 8. Commander suggested working with the Mayor and Council Members office for resources.
    • People can receive reimbursement for a private security camera and it acts as a deterrent.
    • The Commander also suggested we consider signage about private cameras surviving the neighborhood.
  • The Commander also explained that it is only misdemeanor to discharge a weapon, which means that when people fire and don’t hurt anyone, the charges are lower. There isn’t the same deterrent.
  • With respect to when to call 911 – The Commander said that we should always call, especially when we see a dice game. In those instances, there is money on the ground, people hear about it, usually a gun around. And if a fight or disagreement occurs, the individuals playing will try to take care of it themselves. A dice game brings guns and robberies and please call.
  • A resident asked about the congregating on the Unit Block of Bates: The officer explained one officer is permanently dedicated to DCRA and permits. 44 Bates has been a hangout place, and they’re working to get issue addressed.
  • A business owner in the neighborhood asking about a weed pop-up that is taking place at 1712 3rd – there is a bouncer with a wad of cash and concern that this will lead to violence. If you see weed pop-ups, email Sgt Brown/Cpt Williams to let them know. A 911 call for a pop-up isn’t as effective.
  • Another resident asked about the persistent drug dealing at P and 3rd. This has been given to narcotics and special investigative division. However, the business owner is not cooperating. Sgt Brown will share more information at the next meeting. Will be contacting the office of the AG so that the owner isn’t part of the problem — and making sure that the business is cooperating with the police.
  • The Commander said that he would consider a meet n greet with the officers — want the residents to come talk to the officers so that community has a conversation. Will bring the snow cone machine!

Updates from CM McDuffie

  • NEAR Act — passed in 2016 and implemented last year with $750,000 (additional funding front the Mayor) and three nonprofits awarded last week. There will be one that is focused on Ward 1-5. Concerned that the resources are stretched too thin. Seeing an increase in homicides across the city and deeply concerning in specific areas.
  • When people commit crimes they need to be held accountable, but we also need to understand what is happening in the city in that some people resort to guns to solve their disputes.
  • Not to replace what law enforcement is doing, but wants to focus on employment and social services etc. Identified funding last week to put money in a violence prevention program through the AG office.
  • There are areas across the 5th district that are problematic. Not just in Bates. It doesn’t happen everywhere, but it is happening here.
  • Law about discharging a weapon — open to legislative solutions — but based on his prior work mandatory minimums won’t solve the problem.
    • Commenter mentioned that we aren’t going to police our way out of this — the idea that we can lock up our way out of this is beyond the scope of reality.
  • Grieving mother of son who was killed in 1997 on the corner and concerned that the conversation hasn’t improved. CM indicated that he is committed to addressing the problem. He wants to talk to individuals and engage residents.

Updates from the Mayor’s Office

  • Resident Parking Permit signs will be installed this week on the 100 and 200 Block of Q Street
  • DDOT will be completing lighting assessments for 100-200 Block of Q/ 1600 Block of First
  • Tree trimming last evaluated in October, but will be doing so again.
  • Pre-arrest diversion program will begin in October — MPD and DOH will both respond to individual who may have substance use disorder issue.

Updates from Commissioner Thomas

  • ANC 5E meeting will be taking place tomorrow. There is a resolution on the agenda regarding Wells-Fargo divestment due to alleged practices of discrimination against minorities. ABRA liquor licenses.
  • Someone will be talking about dockless bikes/scooters being left in various places.
  • Update on McMillian project and Bloomingdale historic designation.
  • ANC will not meet again until September unless for emergency session.

Updates from Commissioner McClelland

  • One item that will be voted on in ANC is related to the community health day that BACA supported last meeting.
  • The Mamo property located at1600 block of North Capitol seeking an extension for 2 years, but only 1 year extension will likely be granted so that they can start construction within a year. There will be an art installation on the site through the month of June.
  • Working to set up a meeting with DC water on a Saturday so that more people can attend – stay tuned — before they get started in September.

Updates from The Department of Behavioral Health

  • Come out and be visible – don’t let other people deter you from living in your neighborhood.
  • Mobile Crisis Service will medicate/stabilize and get people balanced. 911 is always an option.
  • Can also call the Dept of BH at 1888-7-WE-HELP to get people connected to services.

Domestique – Liquor License Transfer Application

  • Will be selling all organic and bio-dynamic wines in the $15-25 price range
  • Owner of a shop trying to open up at North Cap/Fla – 10 Florida Ave NW
  • Operating hours – plan to be open from 11 am to 8 pm.
  • Will be selling 80 percent wine; will also be selling some spirits and beer.
  • Questions about return of loitering and people on the corner who used to hang out at the liquor store. Will be able to have cameras/lighting and people who will engage anyone.
  • Generally supportive of a wine store and new business in the neighborhood.
  • Will likely be protesting in order to reach a settlement on hours and sales, as well as lighting and cameras, etc.

Langston/Slater Schools Resolution

  • Motion adopted by the civic addiction to revitalize the Langston School.

Adjourned 9 PM


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