Yes, it is a shame

Washington Post: How long do you imagine drug dealing could take place in front of the White House or on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol? How about in front of the mayor's residence? Answer: About as long as it would take for authorities to arrive on the scene, make arrests and deploy sufficient officers to ensure that the dealers never returned. So why can't District of Columbia residents be afforded the same degree of protection that is enjoyed by top public officials with downtown addresses? That's a burning question raised Tuesday by two D.C. Council members in response to multiple shootings and fatalities in their communities. It is a question that Mayor Anthony A. Williams, D, who is responsible for public safety, cannot ignore.
Intolerable situation
In the space of a few hours Monday, one male was killed and two others injured by gunfire in a car in Northwest Washington. A mile away, two other young men were shot, one fatally, under similar circumstances. All of the victims apparently were teen-agers. D.C. Councilman Adrian Fenty described the area of one neighborhood where the shootings occurred as "a very dangerous drug corridor," recalling three homicides on the same block in the past three years. Now, would that be tolerated anywhere within the city's most affluent neighborhoods? You know the answer. Listen to Dianna Waters, who lives in Petworth, where one of the shootings occurred around 3 p.m.: "They [drug dealers] trespass in my yard. I have chained my fence and they have torn it down," she told The Post. "I have chased them. They fight with their dogs. I witnessed with my own eyes two guys shooting at each other: 'Pop, pop.' It is a shame."
Yes, it is a shame. A shame that so many residents of the nation's capital must live this way. A shame that there are two classes of law enforcement in the city: one that is well staffed, skillfully led, vigilant and devoted to protecting the powerful; another with a mixed bag of officers -- some good, some barely passable -- assigned to cover neighborhoods lacking economic and political clout.
"The citizens of this city need their municipal police officers involved in and policing their communities," Mr. Fenty said. "The residents know where the problem drug houses are. The residents know where the MPD (D.C. police) should target. The problems are not downtown." Mr. Fenty is correct. Why doesn't the mayor get it?