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Combating crime in the District of Columbia : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, June 22, 1995 online

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assessment is it would make zero difference in the crime rate?

Chief Fulwood. Yes.

Mr. Scott. If you had that kind of money, what could you do
with it that would make a difference?

Chief Fulwood. For me personally, what I would do. No. 1, is
fund the Summer Jobs Program to give kids an opportunity to
know that you can be a success in life by working hard and
through some achievement. The second thing I would do

Mr. Scott. Let's put that in perspective. I think the Summer
Jobs Program costs about $11 million?

Chief Fulwood. Some place in that area.

Mr. Scott. And so we're talking — so we know the parameters
we're talking about, go ahead.

Chief Fulwood. Ajid the second thing I would do would probably
be to invest money in education. I think there's no greater invest-
ment that we can make. When you look and see what has happen-
ing to our children in the present-day, second-rate school system
that's not producing quality applicants that can compete, it just
begs that we ought to invest money on the front end of the system,
which is to do early childhood development, such as Head Start
and those other kinds of programs. Then I would invest in recre-
ation. I believe that people — that kids need supervised wholesome
activities where there are adults there that give them guidance and
direction, that we can improve the quality of life for these kids
when we do that. I think we have to make an investment in young
people because that's where the problem is. If you look at what
Chief Thomas said, you begin to clearly see that the problem is
with young people. We see older people, decreases in terms of the
number of people that are older that get arrested and the numbers
that are involved in criminal activity. It is young people, basically,
that are involved in crime and violence.


Mr. Scott. Mr. Chairman, since we have a vote, I'll stop here,
and just I think we've made the point that if you're going to invest
in incarceration, the amount of money that you'd have to invest to
make any difference at all is so huge compared to the significant
changes that could be made in funding summer jobs, dropout pre-
vention programs, college scholarships, drug rehabilitation, and
other things which are relatively cheaper and will, in fact, make
a difference in crime.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chief FULWOOD. One thing that we've found already, when they
built he new jail in the District of Columbia, the day they opened
it it was overcrowded. And so I think that what we ought to clearly
say here is there has never been an absence of the ability to lock
people up, and they're averaging almost 50,000 arrests a year in
the District of Columbia. So they ve never been really soft on crime
and violence. There may be a lot of other things that we can criti-
cize the leadership in the District for, but it hasn't been that
they're soft on crime and violence. We need to improve the process
and how we do things. We need to certainly speed it up. Justice
is neither swift nor certain in the District of Columbia. When it
takes 15 to 16 months to get a homicide to trial, that's where we
need to work to make the system work better.

And if you look at from 1986 to 1995, there have been 3,645 mur-
ders in the District of Columbia. That's a lot of folks. And so it
seems like we ought to be working more on those issues and also
on improving how people behave, families. We've got to rebuild
families. You know, I've heard this said a thousand times in hear-
ings up here, but we've got to improve how we parent and how we
teach our children values. Our children are growing up without
values. And if we don't work on those things in terms of preven-
tion, then I think we're kidding ourselves if we think we can actu-
ally arrest our way out of it.

And I'm for people being locked up. I mean, you know, I've de-
signed more programs than anybody in the world to lock folks up,
but I'm saying that there are other things that we need to do, and
it is back to basics. I think it is putting the police officer back on
the beat. It is the technology things that she talked about, but the
way that you can help the District, I think, clearly, is to focus some
money on resources to improve their technology over the next 3 or
4 years, to get sufficient police officers on the street in community
policing because community policing speaks to problem-solving.

I'll give you one example. When I was chief, Minnesota Avenue
and Benning Road in the sixth district had the highest number of
calls for service. I said, why are we going back to the same location
for the same thing? Why don't we look at what's at Minnesota and
Benning Road that's drawing us there and then get the social serv-
ices providers, the consumer and regulatory, and these other people
involved in solving some of these problems? So Marshall Heights
has done community development over there with a brandnew
shopping center. The calls for service has gone down because
they've improved fundamentally the quality of life for people who
live in those neighborhoods, and that's what Mr. Foreman has been
talking about; that's what Ms. Byington has been talking about.
It's making it better.


Citizens can solve a lot of these problems. We need government
help, but it's individuals like myself and others who continue to
work. I'm retired, but I believe that the price for life on earth is
service, and I don't want to get religious on you, but that's what
it is. The price on life on earth is service, service to your fellow
human being, and that's prevention because we can make the dif-
ference. It's also punishment where punishment is appropriate, but
it is that.

Mr. Scott. Chief, I think you're making the point, too, that the
investments made to decrease the cost of service are just as cheap
or cheaper

Chief FuLWOOD. It is.

Mr. Scott [continuing]. Than waiting for people to mess up and
then trying to lock them up.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chief FuLWOOD. It is.

Mr. Bryant of Tennessee. Thank you.

We've got another vote, and I'd like to spend some more time
with this panel, if you can. I have to apologize because of these
breaks, but I know Ms. Norton has some questions, too, and we've
got the time to do that today. So if we could just take another
pause and if there is more than one vote, then we'll just come back
after that last vote, but I think there's only one vote. We'll recess
until about 1:15. Thank you.


Mr. Heineman [presiding]. I'll call this session back in order
again, and recognize Ms. Norton.

Ms. Norton. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

We've been hearing really from people who are regarded as he-
roes in our community, either because of what they, themselves,
have done to reduce crime in our District or because they are asso-
ciated with organizations that community residents feel very close

Chief Fulwood is a virtual folk hero in our town, having taken
us through one of the most difficult periods when crack exploded
and we needed somebody with his leadership abilities and some-
body who was willing not only to be tough on law enforcement —
and they don't get any tougher — but who has also spoken out and
made people understand that prevention is just as important if you
want to lick this problem.

Ms. Byington is an example of the very best in D.C. resident ac-
tivism. It is spread all across this city. These are folks who — you'll
see from her testimony — that you couldn't get out of here if you
wanted to, and, yet, she lives in a neighborhood which has much
more than its fair share of crime.

Mr. Foreman's name is as well known in our city as any public
official because of what he has done with Orange Hats by himself
without asking anybody for anything, except those who walk with
him; he's demanding on them. He is much admired in our city.

Ms. Nero is very important to us because the victims of crime
have organized in order to make those who do not already have a
sense of balance on crime understand how necessary it is to focus
on victims and their needs. People who commit crimes have law-
yers. They must have lawyers under the law. It's the victims of


crime who are silent and invisible. I have the greatest respect for
Ms. Nero and her organization.

I have only a few questions. We've kept this panel some time.

I would like you to bring out what you — particularly since you
represent citizen organizations — I would like you to discuss, each
of you, what you regard community policing as consisting of. I am
afraid this has become a word which is used by different people to
mean different things. It has never been truly defined. I thought,
what is it? What does it consist of? And has it made a difference
in your individual efforts to help our community reduce crime?

I'd begin with the chief because he would know it from both
sides. [Laughter.]

Chief FuLWOOD. Community policing, when we envisioned it —
and just a little bit of history: we went to Houston, TX, because
they had — was kind of pioneering in the whole issue of community
policing. So we traveled down there to see what they were talking
about and tried to make some distinctions between community po-
licing as a style of law enforcement versus community relations,
that they are, in fact, different. And the idea of community policing
was to have a problem-solving approach, to take officers, allow
them to make decisions, decentralize decisionmaking, to allow them
to work with communities and government organizations to bring
about problem- solving.

An example that I'lluse, I used the one about Minnesota Avenue,
but the one about going to a home on a radio run for domestic dis-
putes, traveling back to that home six or seven times; only the sev-
enth time they get there it's a murder, and we haven't really inter-
vened. And so the idea was to give the officer intervention skills
and the ability to solve problems; say, OK, I've come here twice
now and we've had a domestic dispute; we need to get the neigh-
borhood minister or the social service provider in to see what kind
of help we can give the family. So the police officer can be out of
that and over at the more serious criminal offenses. That was the
idea of community policing, and that community policing had to be
tied to crime control, that the job of the police is to really deal with
the issue of crime. And so community policing was to be that prob-
lem-solving and crime control, and they were to be together.

So we started two pilot districts, the seventh district in South-
east because they had so many problems of crime and violence, and
the first district, which had a variety of people, businesses, and all
the other kind of things there, and to allow the district commander
to then frame a model, one being he looked at beat patrols, which
Sally can talk about, and putting that officer out there so he
worked with the community organizations on the specific problems
unique to those neighborhoods; in seven he chose a different model,
but to train every police, but to train every police officer in commu-
nity policing.

And I will certainly be happy to submit for the record at some
later time a more expansive explanation of community policing, but
community policing has become everybody's watch word now. Ev-
erybody says, well, we've got to have community policing; that's the
answer to everything. Well, community policing is not the answer
to everything because the kind of studies that really need to be
done hasn't been done. Part of what the Federal Government can


do is to look at these things that we keep talking about and say,
do they work? Do they work? I mean, those kind of questions
haven't been asked.

In one of my other hats with the American Psychological Associa-
tion on a 2-year study of crime and violence, one of the things that
we came away with, a recommendation is to have some Federal
agency look at these programs. It's time for us to take a good look
at all of these programs that exist that we spend an awfiil lot of
money on and either affirm that they have impact or say let's get
rid of the program. But that hasn't been done. We fall in love with
a program. We get identified with it, and we say that's the great
God in Heaven. Well, it's not. Community policing is not the great
anything at this point because we haven't really taken it to the
next level that she talked about earlier. We've only started to fight
and then we've thrown a couple of left jabs and then we've run
away. We've got to really do some things. So community policing —
and I'll get you a more expansive explanation, but it's problem-solv-
ing at the officer's level.

Ms. Norton. That was very — no, that was very helpful.

Ms. Byington, are you in beat 26?

Ms. Byengton. No, I live in beat 153 in the fifth district

Ms. Norton. Because you attached the beat 26 newsletter.

Ms. Byington. I attached the beat 26 newsletter because we had
had a planning meeting, and Joe Safati was there, and it's like
beat 26 is the model program in the first district, and I attached
a beat 156 newsletter because that's an atypical community on
Capitol Hill, the beat that sort of straddles Lincoln Park and is
close to the stadium and Kingman Park communities, and I at-
tached a newsletter from — what was the other one? — 31, which is
another community on Capitol Hill which is very diverse because
it incorporates the Orange Hats of Barney Circle and the Ives
Watch neighborhood group, as well as Potomac Gardens. So I tried
to show by sample newsletters that what we put together in our
conglomeration of community policing is a beat structure of our di-
verse community, and what we have in our 16 beats of community
policing was built out of what beat 26 started, which was supposed
to be the model that was to be adopted by the police department.

I was glad that you said that it was a style of policing because
community policing to me becomes a style and then a philosophy,
and then it becomes, approaches policy. Style, philosophy, and pol-
icy. The problem is it doesn't get evaluated; it doesn't have follow-
through. It gets lost. It gets compromised. We built the beat struc-
ture because the police had beats and we were going to work with
traditional law enforcement and still keep traditional law enforce-
ment as the cornerstone. So we built onto their structure, and we
incorporated the things that were in the beat; the neighborhood as-
sociations, the patrol groups, the schools, the churches, to come to-
gether, as you and I know, because we talked to you about this and
said what we're trying to do is build problem-solving tiers. We
spent a lot of energy on it and came in with our model, which we'd
be happy to talk to you about some other time, too, and how we
think it can work in this Federal City, because it does involve key
missions of Federal officers.


Why I like community policing, which is kind of Dr. Goldstein's
phrase from the University of Wisconsin, vis-a-vis the earlier
phrases of, let's say, community-oriented policing or community
empowerment policing, is because community policing is two words.
It shows equal weight and strength. It's that court of two with
three, of course, is always with me, the spirit. But community
empowerment policing became kind of known as soft on crime, too
community-oriented, too many social programs, too much preven-
tion, not enough law enforcement. The community was empowered,
and some people do community empowerment policing and there's
not even police involved. Community-oriented policing was viewed
as being whether the police wanted to orient themselves to the
community or not, which is kind of where we are, I think, in the
District. Do the police really want to orient to us or not?

So when we're — we're calling our model now community policing
with community-oriented problem-solving, which means that brings
in the whole array of the chain of services which are necessary to
solve the problems. We're having good luck right now, to give a
credit to the District, working with DCRA under Hampton Cross,
because he's starting to address problem-solving, and so we're real-
izing some of our problem-solvings can't be police solutions. They're
too busy. They have too many tasks. They shouldn't be the whole
link, DCRA, now, in their remodeling is making it easier for us to
go down and find the name of an owner of a house that's been
abandoned or that's been a crack house or that's been in receiver-
ship, and to help us through the steps of closing that house, board-
ing that house up. We're working strictly with DCRA, and beat 30
is leading the way in that. But it has to have problem-solving; oth-
erwise, it just becomes buzzwords.

Ms. Norton. Well, I want to commend you for the model you
brought to us. We, of course, sent you to Eric Holder. But involving
the Federal police, given particularly where your beat was and
where Capitol Hill is located, and I link to what we heard the chief
say, that there isn't enough cooperation between them because of
the guidelines. And if we can get that straightened out, it may be
that the Federal model of community policing that you came for-
ward with, very creative, very innovative ideas, can truly get on

I asked about beat 26 because I live in beat 26, and I get the
beat 26 newsletter, which comes out of the very first of the commu-
nity policing models in the city. A sergeant, as I recall. Chief
Fulwood, took on the work of going from house to house. What it
has done in my Capitol Hill community is legendary. It's as simple
as it can be. It's two sides of one page. When you read in the beat
26 newsletter that the people who left their back porch light on did
not have break-ins, whereas the people who did did have break-ins,
you can see what joining the community with the cops can do. So
you know who religiously leaves their back porch light on, and, as
a crime prevention technique, it's an extraordinary thing when it's
done well, and you have done it very well.

Ms. Byington. Well, your support has been very valuable to us,
and you're referring to Wally Bradford, who was a sergeant in sec-
tor 3 of the first district at that time, and he believed in the con-
cept — in fact, he's now a retired, rehired senior police officer.


Ms. Norton. Yes.

Ms. Byengton. He's in the training academy and he has worked
with Inspector Dickerson of the first district and Inspector Beheler
of the fifth district, and has been retraining the community, the of-
ficers, in an updated version of community policing using problem-
solving. He's committed to that. He's been working with us. He's
been working with Harold Brazil's Crime Task Force, and has been
pushing the chief to have a general order be established to have
the beat leader program, which was what was in your model of
1990 with ex-Chief Collins, the beat leader program, to become the
way you have to police.

Ms. Norton. Yes. Mr. Foreman, what do you think about com-
munity policing? What is it, and has it helped in your own Orange
Hat work?

Mr. Foreman. Initially, yes. I haven't seen community policing
in years. To be honest with you, since the new chief came onboard,
community policing went out the door. It doesn't exist on the street
and districts all over, and I get calls from my coordinators that I
have all over town. And now we have sectors, area of sectors, whole
sectors, we have nobody, no police officers running those sectors.
We have a sector system set up now, but quite a few nights we
have to close down sector and run it districtwide because they do
not have enough personnel to cover sectors. Some nights we only
have three cars for the whole district. We only have six, eight offi-
cers running the whole district for the whole rollcall.

We don't do community policing. We don't have personnel on
duty at the time that is needed to do community policing. We are
very concerned that we don't have officers that can ride by and
make contact with the groups in a lot of areas, because right now
we still have some groups out in some pretty dangerous areas. So
we have to make sure that we move people around that can handle
a situation; guys that are supposed to be able to take care of them-
selves, we try to put them into areas where things are toughest be-
cause we know that from time to time we're not going to have po-
lice officers there to answer the call in case we get in a jam.

So right now we have a police department now that's bent on
being a big investigative unit rather than a community-based unit.
We have some right now in the Metropolitan Police Department,
probably some of the greatest investigators in the world. We have
some of the largest squads of investigators that we have ever seen
in the Metropolitan Police Department, and this is where all per-
sonnel who came from the districts have gone into new investiga-
tive units, and so we lose them from the district. We lose them
from the district; we lose them from the car patrol areas; we lose
them from the foot beat areas. So in a lot of communities they don't
see police officers for days and days, and that is unacceptable; it
should not be, but it is.

Ms. Norton. Yes. Well, I think what you've just said gives a
graphic example of what happens when there's a competition be-
tween the ever important traditional policing that's needed to cover
a wider area and the community policing that's needed to keep
crime from occurring in the first place or mop it up and get the
community involved sufficient to do that. Of course, with the Dis-
trict strapped the way it is, what you're saying is that all the re-


sources are going into simply maintaining regular police oper-
ations, and I agree with you that's unacceptable if we really want
to get at deterring crime.

I know Ms. Nero that this question doesn't apply in quite the
same way to you, but I would like to know whether or not you be-
lieve that there's been any change in the way in which the police
operate in your area since your nephew was killed or if you think
the murder was related in any way to lack of enforcement. First
of all, where was the murder?

Ms. Nero. At 18th and D Streets Northeast.

Ms. Norton. Eighteen and E Northeast?

Ms. Nero. D, where they've had a lot of killings up in that area,
right on the same corner, as a matter of fact, and I live close to
the corner of 20th and E and I very seldom see a police car come
down my street. In fact, I've called Inspector Beheler on numerous
occasions. I might see a police officer ride through that day and no
more. And 18th and D, the boys are still on the corner. I don't see
police cars around there, either. They do sometimes have the —
what is it? — the spotlights that you mentioned, the National Guard
out there sometimes, once a week, but, no, very rarely do I see po-
lice in that — patrolling that area.

Ms. Norton. That is a relatively high crime area.

Ms. Nero. Yes, it is.

Mr. Foreman. A few other things. She mentioned National
Guard being in the area. The National Guard was an initiative set
up by Chief Fulwood, set up whereby the National Guard would
work in conjunction with the citizens of those communities, and
primary at that time was mostly Orange Hatters. So we more or
less gave a listing of where we would like to have the lights at,
what area was a high crime area, where a new area — a new group
of people is coming out into. So lights were there to assist and help
at that junction, but now they have reached a point now that the
police department don't respond to requests that we ask for lights
any longer from the D.C. National Guard. They have taken that
element away from us. We had it for 4 years, 4V2 years, but in the
last couple of years we cannot utilize it. Now the police department
takes the lights and puts them where they want to put them when
they want them. In other words, they're saying the heck with the
people; we're going to do it our way, and they do it their way. We
can't get lights anymore.

Ms. Norton. Thank you very much. You know, Mr. Foreman, as
a result of your testimony, I know that the chief would be willing
to meet with you. I think some of these issues need to be cleared
up. I'm going to make a phone call to him,

Mr. Foreman. Thank you.

Ms. Norton. Thank you very much.

Mr. Heineman. Thank you, Ms. Norton.

Unfortunately, I was not present during your direct testimony,
but I've known you people for 38 years, and I've worked all over
in New York City, and certainly, as the chief in Raleigh, NC, I saw

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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JCombating crime in the District of Columbia : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, June 22, 1995 → online text (page 11 of 18)