In the summer of 2008, police in the District set up military-style checkpoints to stop vehicles without a "legitimate purpose" from entering the city's Trinidad neighborhood. It was a bold attempt to stop the murders and violent crimes plaguing the area.
During this month's inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, that same police force is already warning it will not be able to provide adequate protection to revelers taking advantage of extended drinking hours at bars and nightclubs throughout the city.
In 2002, when Shelley Parker discovered the Capitol Hill home she had recently bought was located on a block where men gathered to drink beer and possibly sell drugs, she got a dog for protection, installed a security camera and joined an anti-crime patrol. These actions earned her taunts and death threats from the men and vandalism to her home and car. Seeking advice on protecting herself, a police officer told Ms. Parker to get a gun. This was unhelpful, since most gun ownership in Washington was illegal.