In September 1999, the Office of the Corporation Counsel began a citywide Community Prosecution Program using current Office of the Corporation Counsel personnel and resources. The Metropolitan Police Department provided office space at each police district. The Office of Corporation Counsel, and on occasion other city agencies, provided other office furnishings, equipment and telephones.
The concept of community prosecution involves the components of community partnership and problem solving. It is an innovative approach to crime reduction. Networking among the participants, including law enforcement, District of Columbia agencies, the Office of Corporation Counsel and local residents, provides Assistant Corporation Counsel with the information necessary to identify, address and correct quality of life problems before they become serious criminal matters. Attorneys in this program will shift their focus from processing cases to solving problems.
The program personnel presently attend ANC, PSA, ROC and other community meetings. They are an additional liaison between the Office of the Corporation Counsel, the public and the MPD, attending, police roll calls, District specific training, and conducting ride-alongs in the community with the police. They are actively engaged in nuisance abatement; coordinating responses from District agencies, including MPD, DCRA and DCHA; coordinating public and private abatement efforts, including working with "Operation Crackdown", and referring DCRA cases of business licensure and housing violations, and referring OTR matters relating to tax violations.
Currently the program has a full time attorney assigned to the 5th, and 7th police districts. The 1st through 4th police districts are assigned an attorney for 12 hours a week. These attorneys are called Community Outreach Coordinators.
Any questions, comments or concerns regarding the Community Prosecution Program can be directed to the Senior Deputy in charge of Affirmative Litigation, Sharon Styles-Anderson at 727-3500.