Columbia Heights Village Donates Two New Bicycles to 3rd District Police
Washington, D.C. — Clark Realty, Change All Souls Housing Corporation and Columbia Heights Village Tenants Association presented the 3rd District Police Department with two new police bicycles. The bicycles will be kept on the Columbia Heights Village property for use by police officers assigned to the 3rd District.
Commander Larry McCoy and Sergeant Detective Mary Lanauze accepted the bicycles on behalf of the 3rd District police department. Other attendees included Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham and HUD Director of Multifamily Housing John Shanley.
"I heard, much to my joy and happiness, that the crime rate here has been cut in half," Shanley said. "I think that's what this partnership is all about...people working together to accomplish common goals to make everyone's life better."
Columbia Heights Village purchased the bicycles, valued at $1,500, with funds from an Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Safe Neighborhood New Approach Grant. HUD awarded the two-year, $250,000 grant to Columbia Heights Village in 2001 for increased police forces and improved security.
"[Thanks to] this grant...MPD will be able to utilize the bikes here and provide an official presence in your neighborhood," said Commander McCoy. "[With] the bikes...you can sneak up on people and roll into crowds and see what's going on. Patrol-wise, it's a very, very good tool for the police department to have."
Since May 2003, Columbia Heights Village Senior Property Manager Tim Hursen has used the grant to install a $50,000 new surveillance camera system at Columbia Heights Village Apartments and a $10,000 surveillance system at Fairmont I and II. Mr. Hursen also secured additional off-duty police to patrol the Columbia Heights neighborhood in 2004.
Columbia Heights Village Apartments is a 406-unit, 31-building affordable housing community in Northwest D.C. The increased police presence in the community has made a difference in the incidence of crime. Reported crime on the Columbia Heights Village property was down 50 percent from the first half of 2003 to the second. Reported crime in the neighborhood from 13th Street to 16th Street to Girard Street was also down by half.
In December 2003, Mr. Hursen received a recognition award from the Executive Office of Weed and Seed for the U.S. Department of Justice. He was commended for his "outstanding support to the community's effort to bring a higher quality of life to the residents and citizens of Columbia Heights" and was acknowledged as a "champion in the fight against drug abuse and gang violence."
Columbia Heights Village recently underwent a substantial renovation. Clark Realty, Change All Souls Housing Corporation, CHV Tenants Association, D.C. Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA), and Fannie Mae successfully rehabilitated the large apartment community and preserved the 406 low-income housing units. The rehabilitation was completed this past summer. Working in collaboration with the HUD D.C. Field Office, the public and private sector partners were able to renew the Section 8 contract, ensuring the apartments will remain affordable for the next 20 years.
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