To combat the street gangs warring in Shaw, 3rd District police are going back to basics: Foot patrols are visiting with 10 residents a day, officers are taking names of suspicious people, and roll calls are being held outdoors as a show of force. On Friday afternoon, a dozen D.C. police officers formed a blue line on the corner of O Street and 7th Street Northwest, between two large, boxy public-housing apartments. Stern faces peered down from the windows.
7th & O is about four blocks from my apartment. Thankfully, we’re on the southern edge of Shaw, at the fringe of gentrification that’s brought nicer condos and lower crime rates, and most of the places we go are in the other direction. Unfortunately, my old roommate was mugged a few blocks away last month - not far from the police roll call, actually. We still try to avoid going north later in the evening, but the grocery store is up that way. The comments on that article make it sound like previous efforts like this one haven’t gone well, but I’m hopeful that our neighborhood will continue becoming safer.