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Southeast DC neighborhood fights to curb violence around elementary school

WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. logo WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. 6/18/2019 John Henry

WASHINGTON -- Locals in one Southeast, D.C. neighborhood say they are tired of all the violence occurring around one city block.

Twenty-six violent crimes have happened within 1,500 feet of the 400 block of Chesapeake Street SE since January 1.

On that same block sits Hendley Elementary School. In the last three weeks, bullets have passed through that school building twice.

On Monday, the community got together at the school to discuss solution to the violence problem in the area.

Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White said one of the challenges facing the community is how to get the attention of the people who are constantly causing trouble in the area. 

"The population that is being detrimental to our community is not in the room," he said.

Community suggestions on how to prevent violence in the Southeast neighborhood included everything from improving lighting on the streets to bringing more violence interrupters to the community.

However, DC Police Chief Peter Newsham said even more than that needs to be done, especially in a neighborhood that is one of the six most violent in the District.

"If you are going to be successful, in my opinion, in fighting violent crime in this area, there is no one agency or one proposal that is going to do that," he said.

MPD will soon have an additional obstacle to overcome. The chief said his department's budget has been cut going into the next fiscal year.

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