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Ward 7 neighborhoods fight for peace following spike in homicides

The eastern ward has seen its number of homicides quadruple in 2019 compared to this time last year.

WASHINGTON - Locals are working to bring an end to violence in their community after experiencing a large spike in homicides throughout the first quarter of 2019.

In Ward 7, the number of homicides has quadrupled through April 18 in comparison to the same time last year. The eastern ward has experienced 20 homicides so far in 2019.

ANC 7B held its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday night at Ryland Epworth United Methodist Church in Southeast. The advisory neighborhood commission, which consists of neighborhoods like Hillcrest, Randle Highlands and Penn Branch, discussed ways to promote peace in the community.

"These traumatic events, these random senseless acts, have us uncomfortable," said ANC Commissioner Villareal Johnson.

READ: 'Homicides up 400% in Ward 7 as DC marks 50th of the year'

Residents provided their thoughts about a draft resolution to prevent crime in the area.

The resolution calls for more resources for local crime prevention and education campaigns. It also wants to MPD to increase the number of patrol officers in ANC7B/PSAs 606 and 607 through Summer 2019.

"Specifically, what we want is trained officers, not new officers, trained, experienced officers," said Johnson.

But, locals also realized to get anything done they all need to be heavily invested in fighting for Ward 7's future.

"If we're going to rise together, we're going to sink together," said ANC Commissioner Patricia Howard-Chittams. "Because a rising tide raises all ships."