Tuesday, August 24, 2010

SOS = Save our Substation

Well I submitted my question for Chief Cathy Lanier, but apparently my question didn't make it on air. Whatevs... One of my neighbors from PSA 605 shared this Save our Substation document they prepared in December 2008, when talks of the substation closing first started.

SOS = SAVE OUR SUBSTATION

The members of the 6th District Community (PSA 605) provide this list of concerns regarding the closing of the Substation at 2701 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. We respectfully ask to be provided more information on discussions or finalization on the fate of the property. Thank you.

  • Deployment of officers from HQ could result in overcrowding in an already overcrowded office space
  • Substation helps to cut down on 6D transportation expenses
  • Parking problems at HQ can also result since there are 318 officers, using 51 parking spaces, driving 63 cars; neighborhood at 42nd Street, NE will be swamped
  • PSA members (605 & 607), community groups, tenant associations (O Street Tenants) and other community based groups use the sub-station as meeting places; accessible to handicapped; parking is accessible; minimizing the partnership for problem solving
  • PSA’s near the sub-station have an alarming rate of stolen autos, theft from autos, drug related arrests, robberies, burglaries and prostitution; we need our officers close by to be deployed to locations within the PSA; criminals use Pennsylvania Avenue to evade MPD by diverting onto I-295, Sousa Bridge and to DC/MD line cutting down on response time; ease of DC/MD boarder response/assistance
  • Crime in the immediate area PSA 605 & PSA 607 is deterred due to the substation location
  • Community groups such as faith based organization Southeast DC Partnership (Southeast Whitehouse) and ANC 7B offers beautification projects to help deter to crime by planting flowers, shrubs, cutting grass, hedges and donating plants and trees
  • Substation is needed along the PA Ave corridor due to 90,000 vehicles traveling in densely populated area
  • Longtime homeowners (senior citizens) living nearby for over 40-50 years rely on the substation (Partnership in Policing – PIP)
  • 30 bus line passengers feel safer with substation available nearby
  • Substation is located within a residential area where there is a higher volume of parking permits requested
  • Foot beat officers don’t have a rest area off the street
  • Loss of services could pose a huge problem for residents (visitors parking permits, holding areas for transport downtown, offices for Inspector, Captains, Lieutenants and Sergeants, and other needed space would hinder their work services); resources would need to be spread out to other locations causing mass confusion and time consumption
  • Penn-Branch is a leased space therefore we could stand to lose that too!
  • Satellite centers could have increased hours providing more services to our community however this is not a viable or accessible means for most including senior citizens and community groups who live near the current substation
  • DOES and DHS is slated to be built here however there’s no set plan to accommodate us in any of those sites since they are not within our boundaries
  • There are not a lot of redevelopment options in Ward 7 (PSA’s 605 & 607) to build a sub-station. If it’s going to cost $500K to rent the space, why not have the DC government build a new-substation for that amount?
  • Alternative option: Consider an option to relocate to the 2200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue where Dog & Cat Hospital used to be. Why can’t we get some of that land down the street? What about Phase 2 of the Revitalization Plan? Can’t the sub-station remain until Phase 2 can be built?
  • $500K is too steep a price to pay per year. Who negotiated this rate? Why haven’t our citizens been notified of this increase?

By the way this will be the first of many post on this issue. Some of our elected leaders WILL be called to the carpet to answer some questions.

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