Community Outreach Programs

Trust and communication are the essential pillars to any relationship. As a private law enforce-ment and security agency, MSPD strives to maintain a positive working relationship with all members of the public, regardless of race, sex, gender, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, and age. By creating and maintaining a positive environment in which the public is comfortable with sharing information with us, we hope to maintain trust and open lines communication with the public.


Through new and existing programs, our department is strengthening community ties to a variety of groups and providing innovative ways for law enforcement and the community to open up even more lines of communication. The following below list of community programs are provided to assist members of the public in getting additional resources at no cost to the individual. 

Reporting Hate Crimes:

It is important for the community to know what is — and is not — a  hate crime. First and foremost, the incident must be a crime. Although  that may seem obvious, we must be clear that most speech is not a hate crime, regardless of how offensive it may be. Moreover, a hate crime is not really a specific crime; rather it is a designation that makes available to the court an enhanced penalty if a crime demonstrates the  offender’s prejudice or bias based on the actual or perceived traits of  the victim. In short, a hate crime is not a crime, but rather a possible  motive for a crime. Needless to say, it can be difficult to establish a  motive for a crime, and even more difficult for prosecutors to prove it  in court beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore the classification as a bias-related crime is subject to change as an investigation proceeds –  even as prosecutors continue an investigation.


Under the Bias-Related Crime Act of 1989 (D.C. Official Code §  22-3700 et. seq.), to qualify as a hate or bias-related crime in the  District of Columbia, an incident must meet the standards for a “bias-related crime”.


“Bias-related crime”…demonstrates an accused's  prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion,  national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibility, homelessness, physical disability, matriculation, or political  affiliation of a victim of the subject designated act.


In order to successfully prosecute a hate crime, the prosecutor must  establish beyond a reasonable doubt both that the defendant committed  the crime, and that he or she was motivated by prejudice because of an  actual or perceived difference. It is not sufficient to merely prove  that the defendant belonged to a different group than the victim; the criminal act had to have been wholly or partially motivated by the  prejudice. If a person is found guilty of a hate crime, the court may fine the offender up to 1½ times the maximum fine and imprison him or her  for up to 1½ times the maximum term authorized for the underlying crime.  D.C. Official Code § 22-3703.


If you have been the victim of a hate crime, know of, or have witnessed a hate crime, you can report this in several ways:


  • Call 911 for a crime in progress or one that has just happened;
  • Call or visit your local Metropolitan Police Department district station;
  • Call the Hate Crimes Voicemail at (202) 727-0500, which allows  individuals in the District to provide information regarding hate crimes  anonymously, if they wish. Please note that DCMPD may not be able to  investigate the information as a crime if there is not enough  information, so contact information for any follow up questions may be helpful.

Victims of Domestic Violence:

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used by someone to establish  power and control over another person through fear and intimidation. It happens between people who are, or have been, in an intimate  relationship. Domestic violence often includes the threat or actual use  of violence. It happens when one person believes they are entitled to control another.


Domestic violence can take many forms. In many cases the behavior amounts to a criminal act. It is also a unique crime because there is usually a pattern of abuse over time, unlike, for example, when a robbery occurs one evening. Domestic violence tends to be repeated with more frequency and more severity.


Domestic violence can include emotional abuse, such as  name-calling and put-downs, and economic abuse, when one person uses money and finances to control the other. Often an abusive partner may be sexually abusive, use or control the children, or threaten, isolate, or intimidate the other. All of these behaviors are used to maintain fear, intimidation and power. Although not all of these behaviors are against the law (such as in cases of emotional abuse without physical harm), none of them are acceptable. Nobody deserves to be abused. 


In all cultures, the perpetrators are most commonly men, and women are usually the victims of violence. Acts of domestic violence generally fall into one or more of the following categories. These categories represents a particular tactic, or kind of abuse. The main intent behind the behaviors is always the same: to establish power and control.


Domestic abuse is not your fault. Nobody deserves to be physically assaulted or emotionally harassed. Don’t face the pain and frustration of abuse on your own. There are people ready to help you. 


More Information:


For additional domestic violence information, please contact the Domestic Violence Unit:


Domestic Violence Unit

MPD Police Headquarters

300 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room 3016

Washington, DC 20001


Phone:  (202) 727-7137

Fax: (202) 727-4382

Website: mpdc.dc.gov/about/units/dvu/dvu.shtm


Domestic Violence Intake Centers:

 

SE Domestic Violence Intake Center

United Medical Center Building

1328 Southern Avenue, SE, Suite 311

Washington, DC 20032


Phone: (202) 561-3000


DC Superior Court

Domestic Violence Unit

500 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room 4550

Washington, DC 20001


Phone: (202) 879-0152


National DV Resources:


National DV Hotline


Phone: (800) 799-SAFE 


Local DV Resources:


House of Ruth


Phone: (202) 667-7001 


My Sister’s Place 


Phone: (202) 529-5991


SAFE


Phone: (202) 879-7857


Homeless and Temporary Living Shelters:

As cities invest in their infrastructure and expand government services, this attracts new opportunities from economic developers, and causes an increase in gentrification. As a result, there is a lack of housing that low income people can afford. Most minority groups in the United States experience homelessness at higher rates than Whites, and therefore make up a disproportionate share  of the homeless population. Low income households often do not earn enough to pay for food, clothing, transportation and a place they can call home. Without housing options, people face eviction, instability and homelessness. 


Health and homelessness are shown to be linked. Health problems can cause a person’s homelessness as well as be exacerbated by the  experience. Housing is key to addressing the health needs of people experiencing homelessness.  Many survivors of domestic violence become homeless when leaving an abusive relationship.


The below pamphlet has been provided to assist those who are living in the District of Columbia who are experience homelessness find help.

Help With Substance Abuse:

Addiction to controlled substances can be very hard to face alone. It is very hard to stop using a controlled substance once addiction occurs. However, there are non-profit organizations in the District of Columbia that provide free addiction treatment programs. 


The Assessment and Referral Center (ARC) provides same day assessment and referral for individuals seeking treatment for substance  use disorders.  To refer to the appropriate program, qualified  clinicians conduct a comprehensive assessment that includes the nature  of the addiction, use history, any mental health care needs, and overall health status. 


Once the appropriate level of care is determined, an individual can choose from a list of providers certified to offer treatment tailored to personal experience and life circumstances.

   

Services include detoxification, treatment including medication  assisted treatment, individual and group counseling, self-help and  recovery activities, and, in some cases, residential treatment. Women can bring their children under 10 years old to live with them in certain residential programs.


Priority referral is available for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, women with children and pregnant women.


Easy Access to Services:  


You can  walk into the ARC without an appointment or call (202) 727-8473 to schedule an appointment. For same day service, please arrive before  3:30 pm to allow time for enrollment. You must be at least 21 years old, a District of Columbia resident, and bring a photo ID.