Dvorak, Petula. “How Seriously Do D.C. Police Take Rape Allegations? A Georgetown Party Raises Doubts.” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/how-seriously-do-dc-police-take-rape-allegations-a-georgetown-party-raises-doubts/2016/11/28/dbcb62e4-b58c-11e6-b8df-600bd9d38a02_story.html. Accessed 26 Mar. 2017.
In her article “How Seriously do D.C. police take rape allegations? A Georgetown party raises doubts” Petula Dvorak argues that the D.C. MPD do not take rape reports seriously enough since they take their jobs seriously in certain situations and not others. Dvorak begins her article with an rape case reported around Halloween in 2016. The article explains that following the rape of an incapacitated woman, the MPD lagged in their investigation and did not seem to follow through with proper procedures. As Dvorak points out, two crucial pieces of information regarding this case are the fact that the victim was a 21 year old college student, and the rape occurred at the Dodge Mansion, a $5 million piece of property owned by an influential electrical contractor. Dvorak compares this case to a rape case that occurred almost a month later. A woman who was attacked in a Grand Hyatt contacted the police, and they handled it the way they should have. According to Dvorak, the only difference between victims was their age and income. One report criticizes the DC MPD for ” its handling of a number of rape cases, alleging that some officers didn’t take claims seriously and dismissed victims who had been drinking or who couldn’t recall precise details” (Dvorak 2016). This, Dvorak suggests, shows how the D.C. MPD are (for better or for worse) influenced by the environments in which they do their jobs.
While the fact that police handle their jobs differently according to the setting is unfortunate, it is something that can be changed. As shown in Dvorak’s article, police were hesitant to step up in an affluent neighborhood where the victims in the situation could easily be blamed, but decided to take action when the victim and setting seemed more respectable. This reiterates the idea that the environment around us influences how we react to it. Sadly, this also seems to be true for the D.C. MPD in the cases that Dvorak highlights in her article. Ultimately, police should be indifferent to the settings in which they are called into duty.
Neibauer, Michael. “Muriel Bowser Calls Daly Building City’s ‘Worst,’ Eyes Relocation of All Metropolitan Police Department Staff.” Washington Business Journal, https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2016/01/bowser-calls-daly-building-citys-worst-eyes.html. Accessed 26 Mar. 2017.
In the article “Bowser calls Daly Building city’s ‘worst,’ eyes relocation of all MPD staff,” author Michael Niebauer argues that the building that houses D.C. MPD’s headquarters has remarkably bad infrastructure for a government building. In his article, Niebauer quotes Mayor Muriel Bowser when she calls the police department “the worst building in our entire portfolio” (2016). Following Mayor Bowser’s observation, Neibauer gives specific examples of problems that the Hank J. Daly building faces. According to the article, these problems include mold, pipe leaks, and rodents. Clearly, the Hank J. Daly building is no place for a police department to function properly if these are the problems it faces. Neibauer continues his article by saying that while the Daly building, designed by architect Nathan Wyeth, is in need of serious renovation, the budget and plans for this project are still up in the air. Furthermore, talk of temporary relocation is mentioned, but that brings up more problems, since, as Neibauer explains, the MPD headquarters is also home to the Department of Motor Vehicles adjudication, and probation and parole offices, and the number of people who are still situated in the building is unknown. Ultimately, the Hank J. Daly building is undoubtedly in shambles, but there doesn’t seem to be a plan to do anything about it anytime soon.
While the current state of the Hank J. Daly building is unquestionably bad, it may offer a possible explanation for interactions between police officers and civilians. Being in a building that is falling apart is not particularly motivating or helpful when working an essentially client based job. Often times, when you encounter D.C. MPD, they keep to themselves and don’t initiate interactions with civilians. Could this be in part due to the fact that their place of work is subpar? Clearly the environment in which one works is influential on one’s job performance. With the crappy architecture of the MPD headquarters, genuine interaction between police and civilians seems to be lacking. Whether or not improvements to infrastructure would actually make a difference is unknown, but evidence seems to suggest it would.