Do you have 1 hour to help deter senseless crime in your neighborhood? Help us put more eyes on the street to ensure a SafeRoute home for your neighbors.
Robberies and other violent crime in our communities have left many people afraid to walk in their neighborhood or take public transit, but MPD admits and citizens recognize that MPD doesn’t have the manpower to be everywhere.
So DC SafetyNet, in partnership with ANC Commissioner Chander Jayaraman and in collaboration with the DC Police, launched the DC SafeRoutes Program in March 2016.
This program is designed to put more eyes on the streets, especially along known routes that have experienced repeat incidents of criminal activity. The goal is to have Sentinels (volunteer residents) at intersections in neon vests and with personal alarms/whistles, watching out for suspicious or criminal activity and prepared to call 9-1-1, along a designated SafeRoute. Other residents can be on watch from the safety of their home or front porch. A patrol leader will walk up and down the SafeRoute to answer questions or address concerns.
Modeled on Operation Safe Passage in Ashland, California, each SafeRoute will extend from a Metro stop for several blocks of a street into residential neighborhoods, giving confidence to residents that they are not alone and deterring criminal activity.
- The DC Police have agreed to support the effort by having officers stationed in the area for quick response to any criminal activity observed.
- The Guardian Angels have agreed to provide training and support.
- We would welcome partnering with any community group that would be willing to Adopt-a-Route.
PILOT ROUTE: Capitol Hill
A pilot (test) SafeRoute was launched on Capitol Hill on March 21, 2016, starting from the Potomac Avenue Metro, an area that has had a significant increase in violent crime. The aim was to have Sentinels on watch during the evening commute, Monday through Friday.
During the 2-week trial period, we heard from many concerned neighbors that this program instilled greater confidence to walk about their community. While this pilot program has concluded, we have learned many valuable lessons. This exercise allowed us to measure the community’s support for it, to hear how people feel about their neighborhood’s public safety, and to learn what it takes to sustain such an initiative.
We thank those who volunteered and the hundreds of neighbors who stopped to chat with us about public safety. Should we receive a firm commitment from 40 or more residents who are willing to give 1 to 2 hours a month, we believe that a SafeRoute can be sustained at the Potomac Avenue Metro – and expanded to other areas if we have even more volunteers.
If there is enough community support for such an activity, we have a system in place that would allow us to continue the SafeRoutes program, including an IT framework for volunteers to sign-up and a stock of vests and personal safety alarms.
Thank You, Volunteers!!
IN THE NEWS
Community Group Created to Enhance Safety (The Downtowner, Apr. 21, 2016)
Volunteers Needed to Continue Hill East Safety Patrol (www.hillnow.com, Apr. 1, 2016)
Neighbors Launch SafetyNet to Prevent Crime in DC (Hill Rag, Mar. 24, 2016)
The Coalition Needs Volunteers to Build the SafeRoutes Project
Police investigating reported stabbing of 2 juveniles on Metro train (Fox5, Mar. 21, 2016)
A neighborhood initiative program called SafeRoutes kicked off on Monday from the hours of 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Ward 6. Neighborhood volunteers wearing yellow vests are patrolling around the Potomac Avenue Metro station to help residents get home safely.
Hill East Safety Group Advocates for ‘Safe Routes’ Plan to Fight Crime (www.hillnow.com, Mar. 9, 2016)
D.C. Safety Network, a grassroots organization in Hill East, is trying to launch the “Safe Routes Program,” which would post volunteers with safety vests and alarms near Metro stations to discourage crime.
New Hill East Community Public Safety Organization Backs Safety Routes Proposal (Capitol Hill Corner, Mar. 8, 2016)
The first public safety initiative the DC Safety Net is sponsoring is the “Safe Routes Program” – the brain child of ANC6B commissioner Chander Jayaraman. His idea – which DC Safety Network has endorsed and adopted – involves community volunteers occupying corners on routes leading away from Capitol Hill Metro stops in the heavily trafficked 5:30pm – 7:30pm commuter time slot, Monday through Friday.
DC commissioner to form neighborhood lookout to fight Metro crime (Fox5, Jan. 7, 2016)
Suspects use stun gun to rob DC teen during severe storm (Fox5, Feb. 25, 2016) (“[ANC Commissioner] Jayaraman has set forth an initiative where volunteer residents would station themselves throughout the neighborhood for two hours during the evening rush. It is a visible presence to help those walking home from the Metro feel safer.”)