ANC 3B conducted a virtual meeting on November 19th, 2020. Highlights include:
- Second District Commander Duncan Bedlion gave the police report. In PSA 204, violent crime is down 38 percent this year and property crime is down 12 percent. There was a break-in at Laligura’s in the 2300 block of Wisconsin Avenue on Saturday, 11/14. The front door was smashed. No details or video yet. City-wide traffic fatalities are up this year, already having passed the 2019 total. Second District officers average about 1 traffic arrest per day this year.
- Leah A. Brown, representing Ward 3 Mutual Aid (part of the DC Mutual Aid Network) and their fiscal sponsor, Open Collective, presented a grant request for $2,500 to provide food and supplies to Ward 3 residents in need. The Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the request. Ward 3 Mutual Aid has been fulfilling requests for groceries and supplies throughout the COVID-19 emergency, primarily using individual donations. Possibly because of “COVID-fatigue,” donations have dropped off considerably lately. If you would like to donate, please call 202 556 1315 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The ANC held a discussion of proposed reductions in the MPD budget, with speakers MPD 2D Commander Duncan Bedlion, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, Chair of the Council Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety. The Mayor’s budget for FY 2021 included a $40m cut in the police budget (the approved FY 2020 operating budget for MPD was roughly $560m). The Council made another $6m in cuts to the FY 2021 MPD budget. The cuts would reduce the police force through attrition and retirement from 3,863 officers to 3,500 by the end of September 2021, with a hope to transfer to other organizations some MPD responsibilities, such as response to emergencies involving people with mental health issues.
- Commander Bedlion reported that MPD is concerned about the cut in the size of the force to pre-2000 levels. He noted the DC population at that time was about 200,000 smaller. He said calls for MPD service are up 30 percent since then and the cuts would hurt the ability of the police force to meet their responsibilities.
- CM Allen said that the purpose of the budget cuts is not to harm the police force but to “right size” their responsibilities by moving those related to community health to other DC agencies better equipped to handle them. While those other programs are not all in place, several are evolving, e.g., violence prevention efforts.
- CM Cheh said that the DC MPD is a good department and fully supported by the DC Council. The Council does not in any form support defunding MPD, but she feels that the questions about reimagining public safety around the country offer an opportunity to look at what we ask MPD to do and whether there are better ways to address the needs.
- Current Commissioners in ANC 3B 01, 02, 03 and 05 ran unopposed and were re-elected. In ANC3B 04, Elizabeth Elson ran unopposed for the seat currently held by retiring Commissioner Mary Young and was also elected.
- The first leaf pick-up in Glover Park and Cathedral Heights is scheduled for the week of November 30. The second sweep is in mid-January. The city decided not to require residents to put leaves in paper bags.
- DDOT’s “Move DC 2021” is seeking public input for update to the District’s long-range surface transportation plan.
- CM Cheh held a roundtable on November 16th about the DDOT “Slow Streets” Initiative to discuss potential improvements to the programs. DDOT Director J. Marootian attended. He says his agency wants to be nimble and is continuing to seek community input on the initiative. Comments should be directed to Ward 3 DDOT community engagement officer, Donise Jackson (email@example.com).
- The due date for final comments about the Pepco rate case before the Public Service Commission has been extended by one week to December 23.
Next Meeting: Thursday, December 10, 2020