The D.C. police are an easy target.
The MPD questionably shoots teenagers, burgles houses (and gets arrested) and for reasons I will never understand, sits in the speed camera cars that work automatically while watching movies on their laptop.
But you know what they also do, especially lately? Walk the beat in Hill East.
Someone was robbed a block away from my residence recently, and since then, there have been more cops — on foot — all over my neighborhood. They are often walking alone, down semi-shady alleys, and I really respect that. I don’t know if the initiative comes down from the top (Police Chief Cathy Lanier) or from the neighborhood, but it gets right at the request I hear from countless D.C. denizens: More police on the beat, please. Not in cars, on foot. Walk in our shoes.
On Barracks Row, cops are everywhere because there are people everywhere. A Street SE is pretty dang quiet most of the time, and even though I firmly believe my neighborhood is “safe,” the level of activity is so low it can sometimes feel sketchy. And at a moment like that, when its dark and the city is forboding, it really is comforting to see that blue jacket approaching you.