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  • Dc And Area Local News

    For those of you, who like me are a bit more "local", you've probably kinda sussed this was going to happen from watching/listening to the news recently. During my noon and afternoon walks this past two weeks I've noticed a marked increase in the number of private security personnel outside a majority of Federal and State buildings in the City, and that there seem to be more vehicle patrols out as well, as roving foot patrols through the National Mall and other large public areas. Pretty sad times when this has to happen though. The following message came from our MP Security Det here in the Embassy:

    Subject: Security Broadcast - Crime Emergency in DC / Message concernant la sécurité : état d'urgence face à la criminalité dans le District de Columbia

    To all staff,

    Please be advised that the District of Columbia has declared a Crime Emergency. The main purpose of this emergency is to obtain funding for extra police and cameras for the city. However, we bring this to your attention to ensure that you are aware and take the appropriate precautions when choosing to live, drive or walk in the DC area.

    Please see the below advisory issued by the Federal Protective Service (FPS).

    *Note: The following document is in English only due to the fact that it was issued from an American Government agency

    À tout le personnel,

    Prière de prendre note que le District de Columbia a décrété l’état d’urgence face à la criminalité. Cette mesure vise, d’abord et avant tout, à obtenir le financement nécessaire à l’embauche de policiers additionnels ainsi qu’à l’installation d’autres caméras de surveillance dans la ville. Toutefois, nous tenions à attirer votre attention sur cette situation, pour que vous preniez les précautions nécessaires si vous choisissez de vivre, de conduire ou de marcher dans le district de Columbia.

    Prière de consulter ci-après l’avis diffusé par le Federal Protective Service (FPS).

    *Nota : Le document ci-après a été publié en version originale anglaise seulement puisqu’il émane d’un organisme fédéral américain.


    Crime Emergency in the District of Columbia

    This bulletin is being issued by the Federal Protective Service (FPS) to raise awareness among tenant agencies and

    Federal employees regarding security issues that may be relevant to the security of Federal facilities within the

    National Capital Region (NCR). While unclassified, this information should be considered FOR OFFICIAL USE

    ONLY and is not authorized for release to the media or general public.


    (U) The District of Columbia has declared a “crime emergency” in response to a significant upsurge in violent crime over the past few weeks. While there is no intelligence to suggest an increased threat to the federal workplace, tenant agencies and employees should take steps to reduce their likelihood of being victimized at work, at home, while traveling, or out in public.

    This advisory is provided solely as a precautionary measure to raise awareness among federal employees throughout the National Capital Region.


    (U) On Tuesday, 11 July 2006, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) declared a “crime emergency” to help combat a sharp increase in crime in recent weeks throughout the District of Columbia. This spike in crimes has included 14 homicides in the first 12 days of July, as well as a rash of robberies and assaults on the National Mall. Preliminary statistics show DC has also seen an 18 percent increase in robberies and a 14 percent rise in assaults with a deadly weapon over the past 30 days. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey explained the crime emergency declaration is intended to enhance police visibility and combat neighbourhood crime. This is the third summer in four years that Chief Ramsey has declared a crime emergency ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT ON FEDERAL FACILITIES:

    (U) For FPS tenant agencies and employees, it is worth noting that despite the sharp increase in crimes throughout DC in the past month, there has not been a corresponding increase in the number of criminal offences and incidents reported on FPS-protected properties throughout the National Capital Region during this period, and the number of reported incidents to date this month has actually decreased significantly from the same period in 2004 and 2005. However, employees need to be aware of the District-wide crime emergency and exercise appropriate caution to help reduce the likelihood of becoming victims of crime.

    (U) For employees who work near or spend time on the National Mall, there have been several recent robberies and assaults in that area since May. This includes a series of violent robberies and the sexual assault of a juvenile female.


    (U) In a recent security bulletin relating to terrorism, the FPS/NCR Criminal Intelligence Section provided tips for recognizing and reporting suspicious behaviour that may be indicative of preoperational terrorist activity. You can apply the same awareness used to look for possible terrorists in order to help protect yourself and your family from other criminal activity. In particular, you should constantly be aware of people and activities in your surroundings. Be alert for people and behaviour that seem “out of place.” You are the person most familiar with normal activity in your workplace, neighbourhood and other locations you frequent—if you witness suspicious activity, do not hesitate to notify FPS or another law enforcement agency.

    (U) Through its website, the MPD has provided the following safety tips to help you stay as safe as possible, not only while in the District but anywhere. The FPS National Capital Region can provide additional crime prevention advice and training to tenant agencies and employees upon request. If you are not certain which FPS Inspector is assigned to your building, please refer to the FPS/NCR District telephone numbers provided at the end of this bulletin.

    Personal Safety at Work, at Home, and on the Street

    Personal Safety Tips on the Street:

    ·If possible, don't walk alone during late-night hours. Walk in groups whenever you can — there is always safety in numbers.

    ·Let a family member or friend know your destination and your estimated time of arrival or return. That way, the police can be notified as quickly as possible if there is a problem.

    ·Stay in well-lit areas as much as possible. Avoid alleys, vacant lots, wooded areas, and other short cuts or secluded areas. They are usually not well lit or heavily traveled.

    ·Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible. Walk close to the curb, avoiding doorways, bushes, and other potential hiding places.

    ·If you have to walk in the street, walk facing traffic. A person walking with traffic can be followed, forced into a car, and abducted more easily than a person walking against traffic.

    ·Walk confidently, directly, and at a steady pace. Don't stop to talk to strangers.

    ·Wear clothing and shoes that give you freedom of movement. And don't burden yourself with too many packages or items.

    ·Always be aware of your surroundings. If you are wearing headphones, don't turn up the volume so high that you cannot hear outside noises.

    ·Never hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.

    ·Report any suspicious activity or person immediately to the Metropolitan Police Department at 3-1-1. Or, if it is an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

    ·Avoid carrying large sums of cash, or displaying expensive jewelry in public.

    Basic Street Smarts

    ·Wherever you are—on the street, in an office building or shopping mall, driving, waiting for a bus or subway—stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings.

    ·Send the message that you're calm, confident, and know where you're going.

    ·Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or leave the area.

    ·Know the neighborhoods where you live and work.

    ·Check out the locations of police and fire stations, public telephones, hospitals, and restaurants, or stores that are open late.

    If Someone Tries to Rob You

    ·Don't resist. Give up your property—don't give up your life.

    ·Report the crime to the police. Try to describe the attacker accurately. Your actions can help prevent others from becoming victims.

    ·Self-defense measures are most effective when applied as preventive steps—avoiding the crime in the first place.

    ·These measures include running away, hiding, screaming, and raising an alarm — remember, more people will respond to someone yelling "Fire" than they will to "Help!"” M27 Note: Funny thing that eh?

    When You’re Indoors

    ·Make sure all doors (don’t forget sliding glass doors) and windows have sturdy, well installed locks, and use them. Install a wide-angle peephole in the door. Keep entrances well lit.

    ·Never open your door to strangers. Offer to make an emergency call while someone waits outside. Check the identification of sales or service people before letting them in. Don’t be embarrassed to phone for verification.

    ·Be wary of isolated spots—apartment laundry rooms, underground garages, parking lots, and offices after business hours. Walk with a friend, co-worker, or security guard, particularly at night.

    ·Know your neighbors, so you have someone to call or go to if you’re uncomfortable or frightened.

    ·If you come home and see a door or window open, or broken, don’t go in. Call the police from a cell phone, public phone or a neighbor’s phone.

    When You’re Outdoors

    ·Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Stay in well-traveled, well-lit areas.

    ·Wear clothes and shoes that give you freedom of movement.

    ·Be careful if anyone in a car asks you for directions; if you answer, keep your distance from the car.

    ·Have your key ready before you reach the door—home, car, or office.

    ·If you think you’re being followed, change direction and head for open stores, restaurants, theaters, or a house with its lights on.

    Safety in Your Vehicle

    ·Park in areas that will be well lit and well traveled when you return.

    ·Always lock your car—when you get in and when you get out.

    ·Look around and under your car and in the back seat before you get in.

    ·If your car breaks down, lift the hood, lock the doors, and turn on your flashers. Call police on a cell phone, or use a Call Police banner or flares. If someone stops, roll the window down slightly and ask the person to call the police or a tow service.

    ·Don’t hitchhike, ever. And don’t ever pick up a hitchhiker.

    ·The crime of “carjacking” – which is stealing a car by force – captures headlines across the country. Statistically speaking, however, your chances of being a victim of carjacking are very slim, and taking preventive measures can reduce that risk even more.

    ·If the carjacker threatens you with a gun or other weapon, give up your car. Don’t argue. Your life is definitely worth more than a car.

    ·Get away from the area as quickly as possible.

    ·Try to remember what the carjacker looked like—sex, race, age, hair and eye color, special features, clothes.

    ·Report the crime immediately to the police.

    Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Safety Tips

    ·Try to use machines you are familiar with, and try to use terminals located in banks rather than independent terminals.

    ·Be aware of your surroundings. Look around before conducting a transaction. If you see anyone or anything suspicious, cancel your transaction and go to another ATM.

    ·If you must use an ATM after hours, make sure it’s well lit.

    ·Never walk away from an ATM with cash still in hand. If you are going to count your money, do so at the ATM. M27 Note: Kenny Rogers said something about "Never count your money when your sitt'n at the table." didn't he?

    ·When making an ATM transaction from your car, be aware of your surroundings. Keep your eyes and ears open, and keep car doors locked.

    Preventing Assaults

    ·Assaults are basically fights carried out with or without a weapon at home or in a public space, between strangers, (frequently) among friends, acquaintances, or loved ones.

    ·The most serious assaults are known as "aggravated assaults," "assaults with a deadly weapon," or "assaults with intent to kill."

    ·Less serious offenses are called "simple assaults." In many cases, simple assaults turn into more serious assaults or even homicides, if the initial argument or fight is not scaled back or resolved quickly.

    ·While some assaults are unavoidable, use the following tips to make sure simple arguments do not turn violent or deadly:

    ·If you are involved in a heated argument that appears to be turning violent, walk away. If you stay and fight "to prove something," you will only demonstrate poor judgment in almost every instance.

    ·Never carry a firearm, knife, or other illegal weapon. A weapon will definitely
    escalate the situation, and it could ultimately be used to harm innocent people or yourself.

    ·Avoid excessive drinking, or if you have been drinking, recognize its impact on your judgment. Alcohol is a contributing factor in many assaults.

    ·If you see an assault in progress, dial 9-1-1 immediately to alert the police. Do not jump into the fray, unless it is a last resort to prevent more serious injury.

    Surviving a Sexual Assault

    ·How does one handle a sexual assault? It really depends on a number of factors, such as your physical and emotional state, the situation, and the rapist’s personality. Just remember, there are no hard and fast rules, no right or wrong answers. Your goal is to survive.

    ·Try to escape. Scream. Be rude. Make noise to discourage your attacker from following.

    ·Use a whistle to alert others if you are threatened.

    ·Talk, stall for time, and assess your options.

    ·If the assailant has a weapon, you may have no choice but to submit. Do whatever it takes to survive.

    ·If you decide to fight back, you must be quick, determined and effective. Target the eyes or groin.

    ·Remember, sexual assault is not your fault. Do not accept blame for being an innocent victim.

    ·Go to a hospital emergency room or your own doctor for medical care immediately. The Metropolitan Police Department, in conjunction with Howard University Hospital and the DC Rape Crisis Center, has developed the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. In this program, a victim of a sexual assault (over the age of 17) will be in a private examination room while waiting to be seen, the wait will not be more than one hour, and the victim will be examined by someone specially trained in this area.

    ·Don’t go alone. Ask a friend or family member to go with you, or call a rape crisis center or school counselor. The DC Rape Crisis Center - (202) 333-7273 - has a hotline staffed with caring, concerned individuals who can help.

    ·Preserve all physical evidence. Don’t shower, bathe, change clothes, ******, or throw any clothing away until the police or counselor say it’s okay.

    ·Get counseling to help deal with feelings of anger, helplessness, fear, and shame caused by rape. It helps to talk to someone about the assault, whether it happened last night, last week, or years ago.

    ·You have been the victim of a crime and you should call the police. The sooner you tell, the greater the chances the rapist will be caught. But if you are uncomfortable about calling the police, contact a rape crisis center.

    Commuter Safety

    The Washington Metro Transit Police provides the following safe travel tips for Metro passengers and other travelers:

    ·When waiting for a train, stand near other passengers. Do not stand on the platform’s granite edge.

    ·Promptly leave the platform after exiting train.

    ·Never sleep on a train or bus.

    ·Don’t purchase a Metro farecard or pass from people on the street—it might be counterfeit.

    ·Always keep your jewelry and other valuables out of sight. Turn rings so that precious stones are on the palm side of your hand.

    ·Keep a firm grip on your purse. Avoid wrapping the strap around your hand or wrist.

    ·To prevent others from knowing where and how much money you are carrying, purchase a multiple-ride farecard or a Metrorail pass.

    ·If you need directions, ask the Metro station manager or Metrobus operator.

    For late night travel:

    ·Remain awake and alert to your surroundings and the people who are around you.

    ·Travel with someone you know.

    ·Don’t stand alone on the platform.

    ·If you feel uncomfortable, move toward other people or seek a Metro employee for assistance.

    ·Ride in a rail car that is occupied by other people, or in the first subway car . . . that’s where the operator of the train will be located.

    ·Have your keys ready as you approach your car, always look inside before entering, and lock the doors as soon as you get inside.

    ·Report objectionable conduct immediately - Tell a police officer or Metro employee

    - Intercoms are located on station platforms

    - Telephones are on platforms & near gates

    - Intercoms are at each end of every train car

    Some of this is pretty common sense, but we all forget stuff for various reasons. Unfortunately there have been a marked increase in assault type events here in the City over the past month or so. Just makes me kinda glad that I don't have reason to be in the area after regular working hours or night time weekend hours. Oh wait.... I dont even come in during the weekend daytime LOL
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 07-21-2006, 10:02 AM.
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