The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is pleased to announce the newly created Community Focused Patrol Unit. This data-driven patrol unit has been deployed to supplement MPD’s existing patrol districts in areas of the city that are experiencing higher volumes of criminal activity, emerging crime trends, and/or significant events.
The Community Focused Patrol Unit, primarily deployed on mountain bikes and scooters, is aligned under the Office of the Executive Assistant Chief. The unit’s hours of operation and areas of focus are driven by using data sets available to MPD, analyzing violent crime from the last 14 days of this year, and the next 14 days of the previous year. MPD’s crime analysts have identified three areas for the unit’s initial deployment, including Columbia Heights/Parkwood, Washington Highlands, and Bloomingdale. Using data to ensure officers are deployed strategically, allows for more focused violent crime prevention.
The unit is comprised of three squads, each led by one sergeant with eight officers. The units are mobile and can easily move and be redeployed citywide, throughout their day in order to address critical incidents and emerging crime trends. The units will increase MPD members’ visibility throughout the neighborhoods most affected by violent crime, and reinforce the Department’s priorities of directly engaging with the communities we serve every day. In an effort to reduce and address violent crime, the new patrol unit uses an intelligence led policing strategy that targets individuals who are committing violent acts.
“We know crime is not tied to geographical boundaries of wards, districts, PSAs, ANCs or any other artificial structure,” said Chief of Police Robert Contee. “Having officers on mountain bikes and scooters maximizes the opportunity for community engagement and communication with residents in our neighborhoods.”
Key components of MPD’s objectives and mission focus on building strong partnerships with the community, as well as remaining innovative and a national leader for policing agencies in the United States.