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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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community action and coordination in the development of antidrug,
education, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and criminal jus-
tice programs and services.

Welcome, Chief Fulwood.

Our second witness is Sally Byington, coordinator of the Commu-
nity Policing Council, a districtwide interest group that works to
help understand, prevent, and control crime in the District of Co-
lumbia. The Community Policing Council is composed primarily of
community leaders or community members of the lead organiza-
tions in the greater Capitol Hill area. The council has united in a
collaborative partnership with both neighboring beats and law en-
forcement agencies, in the belief that this coordination improves
our problem-solving. Ms. Byington is a resident of the neighbor-
hood known as Tollgate located within Ward 6.

And I add my welcome to Ms. Byington.

Ms. Byington. Thank you.

Mr. Bryant of Tennessee. Our next witness is James Foreman,
cofounder and coordinator of the Metro Orange Coalition, also
known as Orange Hats, which has been in existence for 6 years.
Mr. Foreman is a lifetime resident of the District of Columbia,
graduating from Armstrong High School and attending Federal
City College. Mr. Foreman is also a veteran of the U.S. Army. Mr.
Foreman has been working continuously with the community for
the last 34 years, including 14 years as a high school basketball
coach. Mr. Foreman lives in Fairlawn with his wife and has three
children, two boys and a girl.

Welcome, Mr. Foreman.

Our fourth witness and final witness in this panel is Catherene
Nero, the former president of Survivors of Homicide, a support
group for families who have experienced the loss of loved ones be-
cause of crime. Ms. Nero is a lifelong resident of the District of Co-
lumbia and graduated from Eastern High School in 1968 and cur-
rently is attending the University of the District of Columbia part
time. An employee of the Metropolitan Police Department for the
last 13 years, Ms. Nero is an assistant to the disciplinary review
officer. She's also a single parent of one child.

And, again, welcome to you.

And if we could, I would also add the standard warning — or not
warning — advice: we have your full statements, if you could just
limit your statements to those things important and try to keep it
within the 5 minutes, we would certainly appreciate it, because
while our panel is short now, we'll have people coming and going,
and I'm sure we'll have a number of questions for you.

Let's begin with Chief Fulwood. Thank you.

STATEMENT OF ISAAC FULWOOD, JR., FORMER CHIEF OF
POLICE, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT

Chief Fulwood. Thank you for inviting me to testify today before
this committee to participate in, to me, a most critical discussion.

Over the past years, crime and violence has taken a tremendous
human toll on the city of Washington, DC, a place that I call my
home town. I was born and raised here. The fear and pain have



67

reached an unacceptable level, and if we are return our city to a
period of safer streets, we must have a unified approach to dealing
with crime and violence.

For a minute, let me reflect on this TV commercial that says,
"I've fallen and I can't get up." Is this a reflection of the Nation's
Capital where all too often we define ourselves by negatives — ^homi-
cides, assault with a deadly weapon, babies having babies, families
in decay, and a value system out of control or no values for many
of our young people? These examples of self-destruction that we see
on the streets of our city, caused by drugs and violence and decay
of the family, lack of parenting, is a sad commentary on all of us.

Today we face a period of conflict, clashing interests, and emerg-
ing new social forces, which are compounded by an uncertain fu-
ture: lack of jobs and an economy that isn't growing. But what is
the answer? More government programs or more community in-
volvement, or is it greater individual responsibility? The question
becomes, what can I do?

Having spent 30 years in law enforcement, the one thing that I
think that I have learned is that law enforcement alone won't solve
these problems. I believe that the struggle must be fought at the
community level, and I think it's amazing what ordinary people can
do if they feel like they can have an impact.

I'm a resident of ward seven, which is east of the Anacostia
River, a place that I am extremely proud of But, as many of you
know, and as the chief cited when he made the comparison be-
tween upper Northwest and Southeast Washington, the number of
killings and violence in Southeast is enormous and has an enor-
mous amount of impact. But I'm also amazed by the fact that there
are people like the people sitting on this panel, the James Fore-
mans of the world, the W.W. Johnsons, the Kemi Grays, and I can
go on, who work every day at the community level to solve some
of these problems, and I think their cry is: empower the community
to make a difference that the government won't do by itself.

And you look at programs like "Here We Come," "College Here
We Come," and community patrol groups and mentoring and adopt-
ing programs that are prevention-oriented on the front side, which
makes an awful lot of sense to me, and it's also about citizenship.
Citizenship carries with it a certain demand that goes beyond just
paying your taxes. It goes to direct involvement, touching your
neighbor, if you will, giving something back. And when you think
about the bombing in Oklahoma, as tragic as it was, but you saw
something different in people who came to try to make a difference,
to touch their neighbor. Yes, we need government support for gov-
ernment-supported programs. We need a partnership between busi-
nesses, civic associations, churches, professional organizations,
schools, social service providers, that will turn this crisis around.
This problem won't simply go away.

To the law enforcement side, law enforcement practitioners
around the country have long since recognized that they must
adopt some form of community policing that we've talked about
earlier, putting the police officer back on the beat where he's in di-
rect contact with the citizen who is having a problem, getting to
know who those folks are. I can remember as a foot patrol officer
going back to Southeast Washington, where I was born and raised,



68

and walking the foot beat and knowing everybody in the neighbor-
hood. So I knew who the people were who were involved in crimi-
nal activity and the folks who were the decent, ordinary people who
kept their doors open at nighttime. We need to go back to commu-
nity policing, and it's pleasing to see that Chief Thomas is following
through on community policing, which we attempted to start back
in 1989 and started two pilot districts, which Ms. Byington was a
part of in trying to bring about this whole thing of law enforcement
working together.

The police need support. They need support. They need support
in terms of human resources. They need support in terms of tech-
nology. And just to quickly tell you four or five things, they need
the restoration of pay. We can't have police officers who are vastly
underpaid who face the crises that they face every day when people
walk into police headquarters two blocks from here and shoot and
kill FBI agents and Sgt. Hank Daly; walk up to a patrol car and
assassinate a police officer, and then we say we're not going to pay
them. Pay for what you get. It's time for us to pay the police offi-
cers a good, decent salary, and we need to restore that pay. I think
it's criminal that we reduce these people's pav.

We need to maintain some strength level in the police depart-
ment, so that they can do all the things that need to be done: pa-
trol the streets; do the special events; do criminal investigations,
and the likes. And they are getting dangerously short at this point.

And there is a difference between the Federal people and the
local people. The Federal people concentrate on those Federal
things; local people count on those local things. I want to see the
D.C. police officer in Ward 7. I don't have any interest in seeing
anybody else. I want to see the D.C. police, my police officer patrol-
ling my community.

They must get technology: computers, radios, and vehicles. And
they're at a crisis point. When your communications center main-
frame goes down two and three times a day while you can't get
records checks, that's a crisis because that means criminals are
going to walk. They need to get a brandnew mainframe. They need
these things now. These are emergency kinds of things. They need
emergency procurement authority so that they can go — with ade-
quate safeguards they can go and buy the stuff they need.

When its said that they don't have enough paper to list all the
warrants, that's ridiculous. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
They've got some technology. They've got some computers in some
cars. Why don't they have them in all cars? We've been asking for
this for 10 years. These are not brandnew things. They didn't just
come up when Chief Thomas became chief. These are things that
have been asked by three or four previous chiefs that we need to
improve technology. We need to do that, and we need to do that
now, and they need to have adequate security in their facilities.

In closing, I'd say to you the people who murder people ought to
be locked up. There's no question about that. The criminal justice
svstem needs to be swift and certain. But we have got to balance
tnis thing. It makes an awful lot of sense to do prevention. I know
a lot of folks don't want to hear that, but it makes an awful lot of
sense, because every kid that we save becomes a productive person
and they pay taxes and they become the Senators and the Rep-



69

resentatives. They become the police officers. So it makes sense for
us to try to save those folks. So we've got to improve the quality
of public education. That's the greatest prevention program in the
history of America. Where would we be without public education,
a good education system? Prevention, ladies and gentlemen, don't
forget that in your markup. We've got to have prevention. It makes
financial sense. It makes an awful lot of sense.

And there was a question raised about crack cocaine and crime
and violence associated with it. It started in 1986. I was there in
1986. I organized more lockup programs than everybody in this
room, including the last panel, and the reason why crack became
violent I don't think had anything to do with people taking it; I
think it had to do with marketing. It was a marketing strategy. It
changed fundamentally what happened on the street. The groups
became smaller. They fought over turf, and the groups became
larger in terms of the distribution network, whereas when I worked
undercover, one person went up and you bought it from one person
and went on your way. Now it's four or five people, and they've got
an enforcer. That's why you end up with the shootings and the vio-
lence associated. It is marketing, and I'd debate that with anybody.

And it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me to treat crack nec-
essarily any different than you treat powder cocaine. We say it like
it's different. Powder cocaine is crack. How do you get the crack?
You boil powder cocaine and you turn it into a rock. It is more in-
tense.

That's the end of my statement. Thank you. I tried to summarize
it.

[The prepared statement of Chief Fulwood follows:]

Prepared Statement of Isaac Fulwood, Jr., Former Chief of Police,
Metropolitan Police Department

First, let me say good morning and thank you to the Judiciary Committee of the
House of Representatives for inviting me to participate in this aiscussion. Over the
past years, crime and violence have taken a tremendous human toll on the city of
Washington, D.C., my home town. The fear and pain have reached an unacceptable
level. If we are to return our city to a period of safer streets, we must have a unified
initiative.

For a minute let me reflect on a T.V. commercial, "I have fallen and I can't get
up." Is this a reflection of the Nation's Capital, where all too often we define our-
selves by the negative: homicides, assault with deadly weapons, babies having ba-
bies, families in decay, and value systems out of control or no values. The examples
of self-destruction we see on the streets of our city, caused by drugs and violence
and the decay of the family (lack of parenting), is a sad commentary on all of us
as Americans.

Today, we face a period of conflict, clashing interest and emerging new social
forces, which are compounded by an uncertain future. This may be the first genera-
tion of Americans that will leave their children's future in doubt, because ofa lack
of a firm economic base, a job market that is uncertain and a second rate public
education system.

What is the answer? More government programs? Or is it community involve-
ment? Or is it greater individual responsibility? The question becomes 'What can
I do'7 In my 30 years in law enforcement, the one thing that I have learned is that
policing alone is not going to solve this complex problem of crime and violence. Our
emphasis has to be on building a continuum of prevention that goes from the cradle
to old age.

I believe this struggle must be fought at the community level. It is amazing what
ordinary people can do if we believe we can have an impact. I am a resident of Ward
7, east of the Anacostia River. As many of you know the area east of the Anacostia
is one of the most crime plagued in the city. It is an area where too many of our
children have learned to solve problems through violence. It is important that chil-



70

dren in these communities and communities throughout the city come in contact
with people who arc committed to improving the quality of life in their community.

I know we can make a difference, when I see the Kemi Gray's, James Foreman's,
W.W. Johnson's and others, whose cry is to empower the community to bring about
change through programs such as: College Here We Come-Kenilworth Courts, Com-
munity Patrols, ana Mentoring/Adopt a Child Citizenship carries with it certain de-
mands that go beyond paying taxes. It goes to direct involvement, touching your
neighbor, if you will giving something back. The point I am trying to make is that
we need an approach that does not overlook the human resources in our community.
Yes, we need government support. But it is a partnership between business, civic
associations, churches, professional organizations, schools, and social service pro-
vider that will turn this crisis around.

Let me also make it clear that any person who engages in serious crime must be
held accountable for his/her actions and the criminal justice system must respond
swiftly and with certainty. It must be said that government's first obligation is to
provide for the public safety. Violence robs our children of opportunity, and no mat-
ter what side of the argument you hold on the issues of violence-punishment or pre-
vention — it is clear that a major problem exist.

I.^w enforcement practitioners around the country rccognize the need to change
the way that policing is accomplished, and therefore have adopted some form of
community policing (in Washington, I).C. it is called Community Empowerment Po-
licing), whicn is based on the concept that police officers arc a part of the larger
community, and as such must be involved with every segment that is working on
the complex issues of crime and the quality of life. Further, community policing
must be grounded in crime control as its primary mission.

F'inally, the federal government needs to provide adequate human resources to the
Metropolitan Police Department so that they can protect our community, i.e., pre-
ventive patrol, answer calls for service, conduct criminal investigations, handle spe-
cial events, etc.

It has often been said that the department is still using rotary telephones. I ask
that you provide funding to move this agency's technolo^ into the 21 century.

In closing, let me leave you with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The
Measure of a Man, "The ultimate measurc of a man is not where he stands in a
moment of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and
controversy."

This issue is indeed a challenge for all of us.

Mr. Bryant of Tennessee. Thank you, Chief. Thank you. Very
good job.

Ms. Byington.

STATEMENT OF SALLY BYINGTON, COORDINATOR,
COMMUNITY POLICING COUNCIL

Ms. Byengton. Good morning. I'm honored to speak before you
as a community person. Mr. Chairman and the rest of the panel,
thank you very much for having us.

My written testimony presents the history and involvement of
the Community Policing Council along with some ideas for local
and Federal changes and challenges. My chief concerns are: one,
the philosophy of policing the collaborative partnership that's been
talked about, the use of Capital police appropriately, the attempts
to try to do demonstration models, which we've been supported by
Eleanor Holmes Norton for a couple of years — all these things and
making sure we finally get a police department that's committed to
a philosophy of policing. As Chief Fulwood pointed out, that's been
on the table since you all had the District hire a thousand officers
back in 1989.

The second chief concern is that of budget protection. I was ex-
cited to hear about the task force and the possible block grant, but
currently D.C. has been borrowing from Peter, MPD, to pay Paul,
such other agencies as DPW, fire department.



71

Third, the area of training and recruitment. There are no sum-
mer training classes; there are no recruits. This is now a vacant
facihty and it's going to be a death knell to the lifeblood of new offi-
cers coming in.

We need new ideas: attachment no. 6 has a couple. I've been
working with some people that are in the Futurists Society. We've
been developing these, the Deputy Corps and the D.C. Troopers. I'd
like to talk with some of you to follow up. I've bounced it off Inspec-
tor Beheler and Chief Thomas, and both of them supported them
as ways to increase the existing MPD by combining existing police
support/auxiliary groups.

Four, one of my chief concerns is our own community. The at-
tachment that is on the back, no. 5, shows a Capitol Hill chart, and
just to summarize, overall, part 1 crime on the Hill is up 15 per-
cent compared to the same period last year; districtwide crime is
up 8 percent. Part 1 crime is up for larceny from auto, 35 percent;
robbery, 32; rape, 20 percent; burglary, 10 percent; assault, 2%.
The scout car beats with the largest increases were beat 26, East-
ern Market, 73 percent; beat 29, the Navy Yard, 73 percent; beat
25; beat 156, East Lincoln Park, 27 percent; beat 24, Capitol Hill,
right up there, 29.9. Most of these are Southeast Capitol Hill.

There's been change of commands, concerns about redistricting,
talk about retrofitting buildings, a lot of low morale, and a lot of
detailing. Right now the first district officers are detailed to be the
security force within Potomac Gardens, which takes officers out of
our beats. It's a very great concern and I express that for the great-
er Capitol Hill community.

The other thing is an object lesson, I hope, for you that are here.
I went to Frager's Hardware. The owner is a businessman on Cap-
itol Hill. And as I was there just talking and gathering these little
things, they had somebody try to steal hanging baskets, and it's
like, OK, right in front of us.

OK, this is a chain; right? I am not sure what shape it is as I
pull it out of the bag, but having been a kindergarten teacher, first
grade teacher, and then a learning specialist, I think it's always
important to try to show our ideas graphically. This chain is to-
gether; right? But it is so easily broken, and if you take it apart,
it just kind of falls down. It does nothing. This chain, as we have
been talking about in Project Pact — we've been talking about the
chain of community services, the chain of agencies that are nec-
essary to do the job in the District of Columbia. They are local as
well as Federal. There are linkages that have to be connected.

I sort of see you all today as an S-hook. Are you going to be in
or are you going to be out? You're easily removed. [ Laughter. 1

What's your commitment to us? I mean, are you really going to
link us up? You know, I use these S-hooks for hanging baskets, and
after a big wind storm or a disaster, where's my hanging basket?
It's broken on the back of my patio.

Sometimes we have chains that really don't want to cooperate,
and they'll kind of fall off. They may be something that you're look-
ing at right now, default, HUD's now in Federal receivership.
You've got other chains that kind of say we're not going to work
with you, and, maybe, those are chains that we really have to face



72

and say they're chains of color, issues that we don't want to ad-
dress, kind of erstwhile things.

But, let's assume we, together, by talking here can build the
structure, and it's going to stay together, and it's going to be con-
nected, but right now it's still a structure. In order to make this
thing alive, we've got to take community. We're the lifeblood. We're
green; we grow; we are vibrant. And, if you can take community
and link it, which I'm not going to do now because of time — it was
at one point — ^you can link community through the whole chain.
Even though you're going to have some community groups that say
we don't fit in — they'll be off here to the left and the right or they'll
be disposed of very easily — that can't be. They somehow have to be
encouraged and talked to and told, "Come join with us. This is the
greater city. This is the greater good."

I mean, I was on a radio — I mean, I was on a cable talk show
with Councilmember Lightfoot, and the people called in, you know,
"Oh, the D.C. people, all you are are drug addicts." They have no
idea who we are. Here we are. I mean, you don't know who we are.
We don't know who you are. But, think of us as your extended con-
stituents. We are the Federal City.

Then there's another chain that's very important. This is
cyberspace. As Senator Cohen said in the paper yesterday, unless
you have an integral technology system that's complete and work-
able and that enables you to communicate with each other, you cre-
ate opportunities for fraud, waste, and corruption.

Today I'm disturbed because over in the police department we're
just getting officers trained to handle map info. In my attachments,
the back of the newsletters, which aren't in the attachments, but
if anybody wants them, are maps, crime maps, which is really im-
portant for us. We know the officers aren't trained in map info.
We've been hearing rumors that maybe we're not going to be get-
ting map info information, but we're encouraged. For instance, like
in the fifth district Inspector Beheler has Joe Snell, a wonderful
crime analyst in the rank of sergeant, who just gives us wonderful
maps and breaks them down by our sectors and our streets and
shows us the trends, so we can work as a partner. If that's denied
to us, then we're going to be off here.

Another thing, they're negotiating right now to do arch info rath-
er than map info. Why in the world are they spending money down
in information systems to buy a system that's incompatible with
the rest of the law enforcement agencies? Why aren't they trying
to be cohesive and to connect up, so eventually when people come
to the Federal City, they can say, yes, it's a partnership; home
rule's intact; Federal roles are defined; community's involved; we
work together? This is how it used to be able to work, but today
we have technology. It's not the simplistic solution of just saying
we're going back to beat cops; it's more than that. It's putting all
we know together in a new way, all the people together, all the
linkage together, and believing in a dream of hope.

Thank you very much.

[The prepared statement of Ms. Byington follows:]



73

Prepared Statement of Sally Byington, Coordinator, Community Poucing

Council

Thank you, Mr, Chairman and other members of your committee
for allowing me to come before you today.

Personal /Neighborhood Information

My name is Sally Byington. I reside at 1231 Maryland Avenue
N.E. , Washington, D.C. in a small townhome. I live in Ward
6, Metropolitan Police District #5, scout car beat 153. My
neighborhood is known as Tollgate, a neighborhood with a


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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 7 of 18)