I (this is Dan writing here — others are welcome to submit posts to this blog too!) met yesterday for an hour with Lt. Michelle Robinson, who heads up PSA 409 (see this post for an explanation of what a PSA is and other local policing fundamentals).
Lt. Robinson took over this command one or two months ago from Lt. Angela Cousins, and she oversees the sergeants and officers who patrol the northern half of 1A.
As Chair of 1A’s Public Safety Committee I look forward to working with Lt. Robinson. I am grateful for her work and leadership within MPD since she joined the force in 1990. She most recently served as the head of the Domestic Violence Unit for the city as a whole. I have already found her to be responsive by email (you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, but please call 911 instead in any emergency, and 311 for non-police services)
We drew a little map on notebook paper and started discussing the geography of the neighborhood.
Lt. Robinson has three initial messages for neighbors in the area:
- She is committed to your safety and would love your collaboration and communication. Your eyes and ears and gut feelings and concerns are incredibly helpful and she is listening — so please be in touch! You can also get to know MPD better by signing up for a 4-hour ride-along with an officer at any time.
- The next joint PSA 409/302 MPD and Community public safety meeting will be October 19, 2016 — mark your calendars! And when you see officers before then, if you feel so inclined please say thank you for their service — it really helps encourage the officers when they feel that the community gets that they care.
- Not everyone understands that MPD does not solve many of the issues that people are often asking officers for help with — whether it is broken streetlights, mediating a (non-violent) dispute, mental health support, etc. There are other DC agencies for all of these things. At the same time the police officers are often the most visible points of contact in the city. Therefore Lt. Robinson agreed that she will work on putting together a quick reference list of contact points in other agencies that can handle common concerns, and have that list available for officers to look at and help citizens know who best to contact. Of course you can also call 311 for most issues.
I really appreciated Lt. Robinson’s engaging attitude. I believe she is going to work hard for our neighborhood every day. She is in a learning mode as she gets up to speed on her new command, and you can help her do her job by staying engaged and by communicating.