Letter: Stamp Out High-Crime Pockets

Letter: Stamp Out High-Crime Pockets

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Mount Vernon is home to 127,000 residents spread across two police districts. The Mount Vernon police district is the second-smallest in Fairfax County, at just 26 square miles, yet has the most calls for service in the County. Three of the seven police service areas with the most calls for service in Fairfax County are located in Mount Vernon. While the overall crime rate in Fairfax County trends downward, those living along the Richmond Highway corridor continue to feel the impact of personal and property crimes that have long plagued the district. The campaign for Mount Vernon District Supervisor has failed to fully address the issue of public safety for what it is – a critical quality of life issue that impacts us all. The County has tolerated Mount Vernon’s crime problems for far too long. Rhetoric thus far in the campaign for Supervisor has stated that one cannot find affordable homes in Mount Vernon in safe neighborhoods that are not dangerous to live in or visit. The alternatives, as some candidates frame it, are to seek a home outside of Fairfax County or to advocate for the development of lower-priced units in “safe” parts of Mount Vernon. Why have no proposals been discussed regarding how to drive out crime from the many well-known hot spots in Mount Vernon? How is adding more residential units preferable to cleaning up the neighborhoods already here? Instead of glossing over the existence of high-crime pockets, our next Supervisor must stamp them out. Public safety is a core issue for Mount Vernon. Crime is real, it is happening, and it is constraining Mount Vernon from reaching its full potential. It is a contributing factor in not attracting the quality redevelopment sorely needed. It has been largely ignored on the campaign trail, which is a disservice that must be addressed.

Brian D. Leclair

Mount Vernon District Representative

Fairfax County Criminal Justice Advisory Board