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Police Focus to Increase in Fifth District

The D.C. police department will double its deployment of officers on the streets in the Fifth District in the wake of five homicides in four days, including one yesterday in the 2800 block of 12 Street NE, officials said today.

The outbreak of violence -- part of eight murders city-wide in the past week -- has alarmed Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, who said that the situation requires "decisive action." As part of the plan, all officers will be placed on detail, with deskwork temporarily halted, and mandatory 12-hour shifts will be implemented, officials said.

"This level of violence is intolerable, unacceptable," Fenty (D) said at a news conference.

The city has designated three police service areas--501 near Lincoln Road and North Capitol Street, 504 in Trinidad and 505 in the 1300 block of Saratoga -- as "high-impact" areas, where police will devote particular attention.

"They will be on the streets, on foot not only to increase visibility but also to have a strong focus on making some arrests," Cmdr. Diane Groomes said.

She added that Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier convened a special meeting that included representatives from the narcotics squad, the prostitution squad, the gun recovery unit and other departments to help develop an integrated crime-fighting strategy to stem the violence.

Fifth District Commander Lamar D. Greene said his department would increase warrant services and double the vice operations. Police believe at least two of the recent homicides were related to long-standing neighborhood disputes, Greene said.

"We have to find a solution," D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) said.

By David A Nakamura  |  April 18, 2008; 2:36 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety , David Nakamura  
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