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Whatís MPDís problem?

(Published July 31, 2000)

For months, residents of various D.C. neighborhoods have been calling us to recount their suspicions that the reason statistics show crime going down in the District is not because our men in blue have suddenly become stellar crimefighters but, instead, because Metropolitan Police Department officers are failing to write reports of all the crime.

No reports. No crime.

We didnít really want to believe them ó we would like to think that D.C. really is getting incrementally safer

But we have our own suspicions now ó and three strikes against MPD in the past six months alone to back them up.

During that period, officers in the First, Third and Fifth police districts have failed to document crimes reported to them by the publisher of The Common Denominator.

So we have to ask: What is MPDís problem?

We understand members of D.C. City Council have been receiving similar complaints from their constituents.

We decided to bring this matter to Police Chief Charles Ramseyís attention in a letter on July 18, noting that attempts by a businessman in the Dupont Circle area to report a repeat offender he has witnessed breaking the law like clockwork during the past half year have been rebuffed by MPD.

The Common Denominator has been one of many victims of this offender during the past several months and also attempted to get Third District officers to take the matter seriously.

Weíre still waiting.

Copyright 2000, The Common Denominator

Congress does it again

(Published July 31, 2000)

Members of Congress need look no further than their own colleague, Northern Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, to see that the honorable men and women serving in our national legislature are cut from the same cloth as the politicians who serve in our own city hall.

Jim Moranís Catholic-bashing comments last week during floor debate on the D.C. budget in the U.S. House of Representatives ó and his later attempt to expunge his harsh words from the Congressional Record ó show that members of Congress can be just as petty and foolish as municipal officials.

We consider Congressman Moranís recent behavior to be a wake-up call, reminding all of us that we canít expect Congress to show any greater wisdom than that which the rest of America is capable of displaying.

Itís too bad that message never seems to sink in with Mr. Moranís colleagues on the Hill when it comes to the District of Columbia, its voters and its taxpayers.

Copyright 2000, The Common Denominator