The Wash
The Second District has a special beat assigned to the Water Street area where a homicide took place last month. (Maya Smith / The Wash)

Georgetown homicide stirs neighborhood

Police, resident group, take extra measures to prevent crime in Georgetown

Overall, crime in Georgetown is down this year compared to last, but a recent homicide and nighttime criminal activity are sparking concern from residents and officials.

Alexandria resident Franklin Hernandez Arvelo, 19, was shot and killed on November 7 near the Georgetown waterfront.

Arvelo was fatally shot in the chest and was pronounced dead on the scene. The investigation into Arvelo’s shooting is still ongoing, Kristen Metzger, deputy director of police communications, said. At this time there, is no suspect.

Second District Captain Brian Bray said the Second District has formed a special beat to the Water Street area where Arvelo was shot on all three tours of duty throughout the day.

The special beat is assigned only for this specific area. Bray said a stronger police presence is a big piece of preventing crime.

This year there have been 469 crimes within 2000 feet of the Georgetown Waterfront Park, according to police data. (Maya Smith / The Wash)

Additionally, Bray said a crime suppression team monitors activity near East Georgetown and the waterfront. This team is responsible for proactive crime prevention.

Residents complained about the nighttime criminal activities in Georgetown during the November 2nd Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2e meeting. Meeting participants named drugs, muggings, and drag racing as issues in the neighborhood. One resident called Water Street an “open-air drug market.”

Most recently, the Second District placed its Narcotics and Special Investigations Division in the area in order to deal with drug complaints from residents.

The Citizens Association of Georgetown, a non-profit resident group, has also stepped up its public safety program in response to resident concerns.

This year there have been 469 crimes within 2000 feet of the Georgetown Waterfront Park, according to police data. The killing of Arvelo was the first homicide. There have also been six assaults with dangerous weapons and six robberies.

The majority of the crimes in the area this year have been property crimes, including 408 thefts and 48 burglaries.

Though the number of incidents is significantly lower than this time last year, in which 709 crimes had occurred already, ANC 2e commissioner Lisa Palmer is working to make the number even lower going forward.

Maya Smith

Maya Smith is a journalist interested in finding answers to questions about race, mental health, and equity. She covers Georgetown for The Wash.

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