Woodley Park Community Issues: Public Safety

WPCA and the Woodley Park ANC commissioners sponsored a community forum about Easter Week incidents in the neighborhood on April 23. Here are notes from that meeting.

WPCA has an active Neighborhood Watch program, but individuals, groups and agencies must work together to combat crime. To learn more about community policing activities in Woodley Park, call your 2nd District: 202-282-0070. However, some simple "Street Smarts" may be your biggest ally in creating a safe neighborhood.

Robbery and assault are serious crimes. Money is often the motivation. The basic rules of prevention are to be sensible and be alert.
  • If possible, don't walk alone late at night. Walk in groups whever you can -- there is always safety in numbers.
  • Let a family member or friend know your destination and your estimated time of arrival or return. That way, the police can be notified as quickly as possible if there is a problem.
  • Stay in well-lit areas as much as possible. Avoid alleys, vacant lots, wooded areas, and other short-cuts or secluded areas. These are usually not well-lit or heavily traveled.
  • Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible. Walk close to the curb, avoiding doorways, buses and other potential hiding places.
  • If you walk in the street, walk facing traffic. A person walking with traffic can be followed, forced into a car, and abducted more easily that a person walking against traffic.
  • Walk confidently, directly and at a steady pace. Don't stop to talk to strangers.
  • Wear clothing and shoes that give you freedom of movement. And don't burden yourself with too many packages or items.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings. If you are wearing headphones, don't turn up the volume so high that you cannot hear outside noises.
  • Never hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.
  • Report any suspicious activity or person immediately to the Metropolitan Police Department at 3-1-1. Or, if it is an emergency, dial 9-1-1.
  • Avoid carrying large sums of cash, or displaying expensive jewelry, phones, etc., in public.
In an effort to stop auto thefts and thefts from autos in your community, the Metropolitan Police Department offers the following suggestions for safeguarding your vehicle:
  • DO keep your registration in your wallet or purse, not in the car.
  • DO NOT leave any items - valuable or not - in plain sight inside your vehicle.
  • DO NOT leave your car running unattended.
  • DO NOT leave your keys in the ignition, even for a minute.
  • DO NOT leave extra keys in a magnetic box under the tire well.
  • DO install anti-theft door locks.
  • DO consider installing an alarm system or steering wheel lock.
  • DO report any suspicious individuals loitering or peering into cars in your neighborhood. Be sure to get suspicious tag numbers and full descriptions to report to police on the non-emergency number 3-1-1.
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