In Crystal City there has been several events that concern the local community. As a result, the three civic associations wrote a letter to the police department:
The Response from Captain Scott Linder:
Eric, Kateri and Cory,
Thank you for the letter and for sharing your concerns over recent incidents and crime trends in your neighborhoods. I have asked our Crime Analysis Unit to provide me with up to date crime stats in your neighborhoods for this year and for four years prior. This will help to determine current criminal activity and how it compares to previous years both during and pre-pandemic. Once I have that information I will provide it to you all for review.
Although I am sure you are aware of our staffing issues and the recent message that Chief Penn released related to some Service Changes and Reallocation of Resources (https://www.arlingtonva.us/Government/Departments/Police-Department/Service-Changes-and-Reallocation-of-Resources), the Arlington County Police Department maintains the desire to provide high quality service and to continue developing our partnerships/relationships with the businesses and residents of Arlington.
As crime happens within the County, we take a multi-pronged approach to stopping, solving and preventing criminal activity. For instance, when trends are observed, our Media Office and the Community Engagement Division through social media (Twitter, Facebook, emails, NextDoor) will notify the public of the types of crimes, locations and certain tips to help residents to reduce their potential for becoming a victim. Additionally, patrols (both visible and non-visible) are increased in these areas to provide a visible deterrent, protect the citizens and to stop the crimes in progress. Decoy vehicles and signage may also be deployed as additional visible and educational components to try and limit criminal activity.
At the same time, our Crime Analysts utilize data to identify any discernable pattern related to these crimes. The Criminal Investigation Division works with our Crime Analysts, reviews reports, checks with regional and federal partners in an effort to identify suspects and physical evidence that can lead us to potential arrests and case closures.
Of course, the ultimate goal is to have no crime in the first place. Unfortunately, Arlington is a highly populated urban area where a certain amount of crime is inevitable. We can work together by trying to limit the amount of these crimes by continuing to educate the residents related to security of homes, vehicles and their person. We continue to do this through attendance at Civic Association meetings, providing daily crime reports, sharing crime tips during identified crime trends or expected seasonal trends as well as other educational tools.
We offer CPTED services (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design), both residential and commercial, which identifies safety concerns in and around buildings/houses that can often be minimized with simple changes to the environment (lighting upgrades, bush/tree trimming, lock upgrades etc). This is a free service the CED offers and can be requested on-line (https://www.arlingtonva.us/Government/Departments/Police-Department/Community-Engagement). In addition to CPTED, our Business Outreach Unit and Arlington Restaurant Initiative works with our local businesses and provides training and educational programming to include improving nightlife safety. The BOU/ARI works with and certifies restaurants all over the county and not just Clarendon. Clarendon just happens to be more visible then other parts of the County related to nightlife activity.
Again, thank you for the letter and I look forward to speaking with you once I have received the updates stats.