The Metropolitan Police Department’s 1st district was the only one to see a decrease in both violent and property crime over the past year, but that’s not stopping 1D from looking for new ways to fight crime.
Last month, MPD launched Operation Full Stride, an effort to redirect more officers to foot patrols. New 1D Cmdr. David Kamperin trumpeted the program at a meeting on crime trends with the Capitol Hill Restoration Society on Tuesday night.
“The idea is to no longer be a drive-through service but to get back in the community,” Kamperin said. “Instead of people having to call 311 or e-mail their lieutenant, an officer will be walking around and a neighbor can come say, ‘Hey, such-and-such is happening here.’”
Kamperin said Capitol Hill foot patrols will focus on areas where youth are causing trouble and where there have been recent daytime burglaries.
Trouble spots include the 800 to 1100 blocks of H Street Northeast; Lincoln Park and the area just north of it; and the area bounded by Third, Sixth and East Capitol streets and Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast.
Kamperin said MPD has 160 recruits in training, “and we’re telling them, once they get off the certification period, it’ll be the last time they see a car.
“‘Ladies and gentleman, get some comfortable shoes, galoshes and raincoats.’”
Foot patrol hours will be different for each area, Kamperin said. For instance, while downtown patrols will cover the workday, in residential neighborhoods officers will stroll the streets in the early evening, hoping to be visible and available to speak with residents on their way home from work.
In addition to increasing the number of officers slated and trained for foot patrol, Operation Full Stride also will seek to keep them there.
“It used to be that if something special came up with the president or something, officers would get pulled from foot detail,” Kamperin said. “They won’t get pulled from that anymore.”