Opinion Your Views — 12 December 2013
City police have failed Rosemont

By J. Christian Adams, Alexandria

To the editor:

The Alexandria Police Department doesn’t have a clue in the murder of Ronald Kirby — in more ways than one. Consider the fiasco of a neighborhood meeting at Matthew Maury Elementary School intended to calm fears in Rosemont (“Police Chief: Rosemont ‘as safe as any community,’” November 26).

Police Chief Earl Cook reassured residents there was not a crazed person running around, killing at random. Fine. What about a perfectly sane person walking the neighborhood, killing as needed?
Cook says Rosemont is “as safe as any” other neighborhood, as if that will satisfy anyone.

As a former Rosemont resident (emphasis on former), here are some facts that neither Cook nor his escort of politicians dared mention at the recent meeting:

• For years, Rosemont has suffered from nighttime — and even daytime — car burglaries. Anyone who knows anything about crime knows that small crimes breed large ones. And on this score, Cook’s department has failed. After residents caught and confronted some of the thieves, the thugs more than once responded with violence or brandished a firearm. Yet some Rosemont residents were opposed to crackdowns, arguing these are just kids being kids and blaming the victims for leaving cars unlocked.

• On multiple occasions I answered knocks on my door with a pistol in my pocket. Why? Because the person knocking was quite obviously not a neighbor. Other times the knocker gently tested to see if the doorknob was unlocked before I answered. I came to learn that it was best to keep the door locked, always.

• Police have shown little to no interest in reports of petty crimes that I — and others — experienced in Rosemont. I filed reports about thefts, yet authorities couldn’t be bothered.
If the police are looking for clues, they might scour the many pages of reports filed by residents about petty matters.

They might review the identity of suspicious people that they questioned roaming the neighborhood on foot who clearly didn’t reside there — assuming they even bothered to conduct such interviews and make a record.

 

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(6) Readers Comments

  1. I was born and raised in Rosemont, moved to NYC and Miami, returned to Rosemont where I raised my family. I have never felt unsafe and feel so fortunate to live here in a city of diversity. I am more concerned about a person who is so paranoid that they answer their door with a pistol and make comments about people walking thru the neighborhood who “clearly didn’t reside there”. I feel safer now knowing that the person who wrote this is a “former resident”.

    • You might feel safe, but obviously your confidence is misplaced with the crimes in the neighborhood – including murder. The city is not taking a tough enough stance and not informing residents about what is happening. The letter writer noted people knocking on doors were also turning knobs. I guess that doesn’t bother you… or you’d prefer to overlook it. Maybe you should go work for the Alexandria Police Department!

      • If they worked for the police department they certainly wouldn’t be able to afford to live in Rosemont…

  2. WOW! What a well written, non-biased piece of writing. You are a hypocrite and it is clear, through your writing, that you only wish to point fingers as opposed to doing something positive for your community. Shame on you.

    “Yet some Rosemont residents were opposed to crackdowns, arguing these are just kids being kids and blaming the victims for leaving cars unlocked.”

    J. Christian Adams has failed Rosemont!

  3. Rosemont is a dump. Who in their right mind would want to live there anyway? Overrated backyard to an Amtrak station.

  4. I’m the author of this letter. Unfortunately, there has been another murder near Rosemont today. From the police description, it sounds like indeed a “crazed person is running around, killing at random.” From the press release: “Initial investigation indicates the suspect knocked on the door of the residence and shot the two victims when they answered the door. The suspect then fled. He is described as an older white male, balding with gray hair and a full beard.”

    This is precisely the sort of thing I warned about in the letter above. To the folks with venomous comments like Danielle Sloan – what more can one do than to urge to police to crack down on the people who randomly went to doors like ours, who reported people who looked out of place like the suspect above, and so forth. Denial of the problem is hardly the sane approach. Thankfully one of the victims today survived, so the police will get a better description of the murderer. If the ballistics turn out to be the same as the original Kirby murder, then Police Chief Earl Cook should be out of a job by sunset.

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