Ward 8 Residents Discuss Surge in Burglaries, Water Control Issues From Streetcar Project


Burglaries were one of the main concerns expressed by residents during a recent Ward 8A Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) meeting.

“Burglaries have been through the roof,” admitted Sgt Craig Mack of the D.C. Police Service Area (PSA) 701 in Southeast D.C.

PSA 701, which has nearly 10,000 residents, has seen home burglaries increase by 400 percent in recent months. Authorities hope recent arrests will see that number drop significantly.

“We have made one arrest, which we hope will in itself lead to others,” Mack said at the ANC meeting, which was held at the United Planning Organization (UPO) Petey Greene Community Service Center.

[Police apprehended a 16-year-old male during a recent burglary and believe that he knows the identities of those who have been invading surrounding houses.

“He has agreed to cooperate with us, so we are pleased with that,” Mack revealed. The accused, who acted alone, has already been linked to two other robberies within PSA 701.

In other business, ANC 8A also addressed water control issues plaguing Ward 8 citizens.  Emmanuel Briggs, a representative of the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (DC WASA), emphasized the importance of infrastructure in curbing the problem, as he laid details for a large water valve replacement soon happening within the ward.

The valve replacement project, taking place at the intersection of Shannon Place and Talbert Street, will consist of four stages: excavation, removal of the old valve, installation of a new valve and restoration.

“We are working to address any problematic or old water valves within the ward,” said Willis Thomas, who will serve as the project’s site director.

Construction is set to begin in late March or early April, with renovations expected to be complete by the end of May.

Greg Johnson, an 8A commissioner, was wary of the impending problems the replacement project could present.

“I’m sure this project will cause a few other nuisances, namely noise and traffic congestion,” Johnson said. “Has the [DC WASA] taken proper measures to notify Ward 8 residents of these things?”

Ward 8 residents are already disgruntled over problems related to installation of a district-wide streetcar service.  The Department District of Transportation (DDOT) is in Ward 8 working on the first phase of construction.

Lack of signage, hindered mobility and residential flooding are but a few irritations plaguing Ward 8 residents as a result of the DDOT project.

Willis vowed personally to handle any issues that might arise to ensure the best interests of area residents are kept in mind.

“Ultimately we are here to serve Ward 8, and that’s what we plan to do,” he says.

ANC 8A meets on the first Tuesday of each month, representing the Anacostia, Fairlawn, Fort Stanton and Hillsdale neighborhoods.