Idea Submitted by C.F.
Enforcement of a Loitering Law in DC
In the District of Columbia, there is no loitering law. If there was a loitering law, once individuals gathered and began to become disorderly, the police should be allowed to disburse the crowd and possibly do identity checks, especially if there is suspicion of any illegal activity. Most areas like parks and playgrounds are hindered from full enjoyment by law abiding citizens due to groups of individuals congregating, using foul language, drinking in public, using and selling illegal substances. If there was a loitering law, this would cut down on the sale of illegal substances and, possibly,deter drive by shootings. Law abiding citizens would feel safer walking the streets with small children. Senior citizens would be able to sit on their front porches without feeling intimidated. Many times these same individuals are wanted for crimes that have been committed elsewhere in the city and if the police could approach them, tangible evidence could be discovered to solve a crime. If these individuals have cars in the area, tags and the auto should be checked to see if the car is stolen and to see if the individual has valid possession of the car. I love DC but if anything would make me re-locate, it is the fact that DC does not have a loitering law.
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5.01.06 - G.J.
I have experience with the same issue for the past 10+ years. I have been informed by the police that Washington, DC does not have a loitering law on the books. That is a sad excuse for the disturbance that is a result the 4 am closure of The Delta Elite at 10th and Perry NE. Then begins the honking of car horns, car alarms, the hostile roar of the crowd, threatening and foul language, then the sirens of sometimes a dozen patrol cars. Then the relative calm of our community rapidly turns to unsettled chaos. This activity is especially disturbing during the months of pleasant weather when windows can be open. It would seem prudent that with such a routine occurance of this disruptive, disturbing and often violent activity to have an officer in place and maybe some on back up call. That proactive approach would hopefully eliminate the need then for a reactive response that then depletes officers from serving other areas in a proactive manner.