District Heights Police Department

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July 15, 2008


To: The Citizens, Staff and Elected Officials of the City of District Heights, MD

From: Jeff Dahn, Chief of Police, District Heights Police Department

This letter is to inform you that I regretfully, but respectfully, tender my resignation as Chief of Police for the City of District Heights Police Department, effective on July 17, 2008 at 2359 HRS. As Chief, I have thoroughly enjoyed working for the City.

We as a community were able to accomplish a great deal together in a relatively short amount of time. These accomplishments include:

Accountability; Department / Citizen Relations; Transparency of Operations -

General Orders book issued to each officer.

Improved the statistical tracking of department activities through detailed reports.

Formal community policing program established.

Held monthly community crime prevention and open forum meetings with

citizens (Chief’s Coffee meetings).

Implemented “Amerilert” text message based community notification system.

Launched a partnership with “Crimereports.com” to make basic crime report

information available to the general public through the Internet.


Communications –

Department Internet website established.

New memorandum of understanding formalized with MD Park and Planning

Police Department for the use of in-car mobile data terminals.


Efficiency of operations / trends in the profession –

Laptop computers issued to each officer.

Researched and recommended for purchase an automated report writing system.

TASER X-26 units purchased for officer use.

Received materials to start the CALEA Recognition process for small agencies.

Recruitment and Retention (Morale) –

Officer vacancies advertised on law enforcement websites.

Fully staffed the department for the first time in seven years.

Introduced a new daily working uniform.

Received the first ever “vote of confidence” from the rank and file employees of

the police and code enforcement departments.

Serving Community Needs –

Sent out and collected “citizen satisfaction” surveys, which revealed high marks

for how the police department served citizen needs.

Established a detective position to follow up on unsolved crime reports.

Reported a reduction of UCR Part One crimes by 49% in one year.

Developed a new City Ordinance for the offences of unlawful assembly and

loitering.

Assigned a member of the department to the United States Secret Service

Washington D.C. Metro Area Task Force to investigate financial crimes,

including identify theft.

Applied for and received funding for the following grant projects:

- Highway Safety (DWI, seat belt use and aggressive driving enforcement).

- Safe Routes to School (for infrastructure improvements and pedestrian safety enforcement).

- Livable Communities Initiative (funded the detective’s position for year).

- A license plate reader which will be used to identify vehicles that have outstanding issues in need of follow up (stolen, unpaid fines, etc.).

While we have come far, we must not stop here. While I will no longer be at the helm of the effort, these successes must continue for the good of the fine community of District Heights. Serious issues continue to confront the community.

Crimes and incidents involving young offenders are a threat to the very fabric of our community. Identifying alternative strategies to mentor, support and embrace our youth must be vigorously pursued. The traits of hope, virtue, and compassion must be engrained in them in so that they grow from valued youth to being a positive influence. They must be taught the importance of service and the benefits their contribution to others can achieve. Every stakeholder in the community, regardless of age or position, has a civic responsibility to ensure that public service endures in the tradition of selfless leadership.

Thank you all for giving me the privilege to serve such a great community. While the time has come for me to move on to pursue other professional opportunities, my commitment to serve the community of District Heights will not end with my resignation. As always, if I may be of service in any way, I may be reached on my mobile phone, (240) 304-9148, or through the use of my e-mail address: jeff.dahn@verizon.net


Significant decreases in Part I Offenses - 2006 v. 2007
 
The District Heights Police Department has reported Uniform Crime Report statistics for 2007.  This report shows large decreases in all areas, with the exception of Homicide.  It is also important to note that there were four homicides in District Heights in 2007, but the Prince George's County Police Department took the report, so it is not reflected in our number.  A breakdown of offenses is listed below.
 
 
2007
Jan Feb March April May June July August September October November December TOTALS
HOMICIDE 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 3
RAPE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
ROBBERY 1 2 0 0 1 1 1 3 0 1 0 0 10
 ASSAULT 2 1 3 1 0 1 2 1 2 6 1 2 22
BURGLARY 3 3 6 4 3 4 4 2 6 10 4 6 55
LARCENY 8 10 17 7 5 8 13 8 10 10 13 12 121
AUTO THEFT 4 4 0 2 3 5 4 4 5 2 4 4 41
ARSON 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 7 20 26 14 13 19 24 18 23 30 22 25 241
 
2006
Jan Feb March April May June July August September October November December TOTALS
HOMICIDE 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
RAPE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
ROBBERY 3 7 4 6 5 4 6 2 2 2 6 3 50
 ASSAULT 4 3 8 6 7 6 8 7 8 5 8 4 74
BURGLARY 5 3 2 1 14 16 2 5 9 6 3 0 66
LARCENY 14 21 15 17 16 23 21 21 16 25 15 13 217
AUTO THEFT 6 9 11 6 7 1 6 5 4 6 5 5 71
ARSON 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 32 43 40 36 49 50 44 40 39 44 37 26 480
 
 

NEW LOCAL ORDINANCE EFFECTIVE 11-21-07:
 
The Mayor and Commission of the City of District Heights passed Ordinance DH 07-02, effective November 21, 2007, making certain types of loitering, soliciation and assembly unlawful.  Please download and open the file below to view the full ordinance.

Click here for Ordinance DH 07-02