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Streetlights In Georgetown Need To Be Working So The Village Stays Safe

Written by Bill Starrels, Commissioner, Vice Chairman ANC2E, Georgetown

There were five reported sexual assaults since August 3rd in the West Village according to published reports. The latest was on early Saturday morning, September 17 at 1:02 am when a suspect was observed grouping a young lady on the 3300 block of Prospect Street, NW. The Metropolitan Police arrested the man shortly after the incident for third degree sexual assault.

1400 35th Street NW
1400 35th Street NW

Thursday after hearing the reports of the first four assaults, I walked the area where the assaults occurred with Terry Lynch, Executive Director of the Cluster of Congregations, to check out lighting in the neighborhood. We discovered streetlights were out on the blocks where the assaults occurred - in some cases multiple lights in close proximity were out. In surveying just the streets were the assaults occurred (Potomac, 35th Street, and near the corner of 37th and T), and nearby alleys and blocks, over 20 streetlights were found to be out or to be so dim as to effectively be out.

One could visualize a predator lurking in of these darkened areas waiting to prey on a victim who would not be able to see her attacker.

We are calling on the City Administrator to have a survey conducted of all of Georgetown, and for that matter, all neighborhoods across the city, to determine what lights are out and get them back on. Ideally there should be a month long sweep across the city to get the lights back on. All neighborhoods deserve to have lighting that promotes safety.

The city needs to find and use 21st century technology that keeps the lights on. When a streetlight goes out there should be an alert to the city that a repair is needed. We have reports of constituents calling in locations more than once and the light remained unrepaired. We need the lights to be functioning.

Georgetown residents and visitors alike should be able to go about their routines safely. They should know that the lights are working and the streets are well lit. I will continue to work with Terry Lynch and the Downtown Cluster of Congregations showing the commitment to making the neighborhood, and city, better and safer.