The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) today announced results of phase seven of All Hands on Deck (AHOD), which began at 6 am on Friday, November 13 and continued through 6 am on Sunday, November 15, 2009. The All Hands on Deck initiative, launched in 2007, is a focused enforcement and community policing strategy that emphasizes visibility, high-profile policing tactics, aggressive service of warrants, and coordinated efforts to bring closure to open homicides and other crimes of violence.
Like the previous six phases, the most recent AHOD was a success. During the 48-hour heightened deployment, officers made 427 arrests, seized more than $285,450 in illegal drugs and $10,329 in US currency and took 28 guns off of the streets. By comparison, the same calendar days in 2008 recorded 284 arrests.
On the first day of AHOD Phase VII, members of the Homicide Branch continued to work diligently to close the recent homicide of 21-year-old George Rawlings, who was fatally shot on Wednesday, November 11. With help from the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, detectives closed the case with the arrest of 17-year-old Jeffrey Britt, of no fixed address. Task Force members arrested Mr. Britt on Friday, November 13 in Landover, Maryland, and transported him to the Homicide Branch for processing. (See News Release: Arrest Made in the Homicide of George Rawlings)
The AHOD effort focused not just on violent offenses, but took on quality-of-life issues that affect many parts of the city. For instance, the Narcotics and Special Investigations Division made nine arrests for prostitution-related offenses, issued 23 moving violations on motorists, made 31 felony arrests, 18 arrests on misdemeanor charges, and 15 arrests for a variety of drug-related offenses.
During this AHOD, members utilized the full gamut of methods to patrol in their assigned beats: walking the streets on foot, or riding on Segways, motor scooters, or in a scout car. No matter the mode of transport, officers engaged members of the community, yielding potentially useful information to help solve future cases by continuing to build trust among neighbors who feel they can rely on the police for their protection. Alert officers made several significant arrests as they patrolled, including multiple arrests for Carrying a Pistol Without a License, several Robbery closures, and drug recoveries. In addition, officers in the First District quickly reunited a missing 8-year-old boy with his family after his mother reported him missing on Friday evening. The quick work of regularly-assigned as well as members working in the district for AHOD ensured the child’s speedy return to safety.
Sadly, another young boy was not as fortunate during this All Hands on Deck. Officers working the AHOD detail were the first to respond to the report of gunfire in an apartment building on the 1300 block of Columbia Road Saturday night. Despite their speedy response, officers were unable to assist in the tragic shooting death of 9-year-old Oscar Fuentes. He was killed when a bullet penetrated a wooden door and entered his apartment, striking him in the back. Officers immediately canvassed the community, but have yet to locate a man witnesses describe as a Hispanic male in his 20s, with a thin build and dark hair. He was last seen wearing a green shirt and blue jeans.
Despite this tragedy, members of the Homicide Branch worked steadfastly to bring closure in this case. Just over 48 hours after this senseless crime, 26-year-old Josue Peña was charged with First Degree Murder While Armed. Members of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Mr. Peña at approximately 5:50 am in Hyattsville, MD.
The MPD reminds residents that it offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any unsolved homicide committed in the District of Columbia.
The MPD offers a reward of up to $10,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for any armed robbery or a robbery that results in serious bodily injury.