On February 23rd, Board representatives met with a night shift Lieutenant with the Fairfax County Police Department.We spoke at length concerning enforcement issues in our community.. specifically, overcrowding, stored vehicles on our public streets, fire lane/hydrant violators, and Rowles Place being used as a make-shift Kiss and Ride location.
The officer advised that stranger-on-stranger crime in our community is very rare. He added that most of the arrests made are for occasional drunk in public behavior or issues regarding homelessness.
There are 8 officers on patrol in the Reston Station area, except during rush hour periods when overlapping shifts provide double coverage. So, there may be delays with response to some calls, with dispatch triaging requests for service according to severity.
There is a practice in the region called 'Car-Hopping" where criminals, especially youths, will work their way along a line of cars trying doors to find vehicles which are unlocked. Clearly, his recommendation to all of us is to keep our cars locked.
The Lieutenant's primary recommendations were that everyone who has seen, heard or has suspicion about illegal, threatening or dangerous behavior please call 9-1-1 in the case of emergencies and to absolutely call the Non-Emergency Number (703 - 691 - 2131) as often as residents can to report other activity. If you see something that should not be happening or suspect it is, he insists that each of us call. There are no stupid questions or inappropriate reports. Just call.
In the event of community-wide issues, the more of us who call the Non-Emergency number the better chance of getting actions. The number of calls can have a direct effect on officers coming out to check on something.
In addition, he asked that our board of directors of RHA (or the Board of Lake Homes, for their residents) be used as the primary point of contact with the FCPD for on-going problems. BUT, he emphasized, each resident should also call independently.
Callers do NOT have to identify themselves. If several neighbors call on the same issue -- even if they are not personally identified -- that will enhance the potential for police response.
Finally, if the caller feels that an officer (in a Non-Emergency situation) should be sent out here, then the caller should ask that an "officer be dispatched here."
Emergencies can include: All health emergencies; acts of violence where the perpetrator either is around or might be; situations where there is reason to believe that an attack of some sort is soon to happen or could happen. Anything involving a firearm or the use of any other deadly weapon.
Non-Emergencies can include: noise complaints, overcrowding-related issues; illegal parking (blocking fire lanes, double parking for extended periods, etc.) and other quality of life issues which require police assistance.
Clearly, whether something is an Emergency is for each of us to determine on our own. But NO ONE SHOULD BE HESITANT TO CALL THE POLICE.