WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Neighborhood leaders are looking for answers as crime increases across the district.
“We’ve definitely seen an uptick in just gun violence period, shootings, either in my community or the next community over,” said Tiffani Johnson. “Also, we’ve had crimes of opportunity. Individuals might leave something of importance in their car and someone will break their window to try and get to it.”
Johnson is ANC Commissioner 4B06.
She attended Wednesday’s Ward 4 Summer Safety Strategic Planning Meeting, hosted by councilmember Janeese Lewis George.
“(The crime) angers me. Because it doesn’t have to be this way,” said Johnson.
The town hall-styled meeting was a way for residents to voice their concerns while local officials and community organizations explained existing strategies.
For Johnson, she’s looking for accountability.
“A legitimate pen-to-paper plan that has real timelines that are measurable, that can be quantified,” she said.
According to city data, six homicides have occurred in Ward 4 so far this year; a sliver of the more than 100 homicides district-wide. In addition, 41 assaults with a dangerous weapon have occurred.
“If you feel angry if you feel hopeless… I want you to know you are far from alone,” said councilmember Lewis George.
Lewis George and other officials said action is happening.
Police are putting traffic cops or cars in crime hot spots to increase visibility. And, the Attorney General’s office is implementing the Cure The Streets program, which embeds advocates on the streets to interrupt violence, in Ward 4.
“I don’t want to be someone who is a victim of gun violence. And I don’t want my neighbors or anyone who is around me to have to deal with that either,” said Ally Bailey, who recently purchased a home in Columbia Heights.
She’s hopeful what she heard at the meeting will make a difference.
“I think they have some really good plans of things they want to do moving forward. And I hope they have the success in implementing them,” she said.