Brian Peteritas is a GOVERNING contributor.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to fight crime and increase public safety, the District of Columbia police department is taking on the role of city planner, reports the Washingon Post. When new developments are being designed, members of the D.C. police department seek meetings with developers, look over designs, and make suggestions about how to increase public safety through design before any construction takes place. Developers can decline to meet with police and aren't required to incorporate law enforcement's ideas, but by involving themselves early, the police are more likely to have their ideas turned into reality. The District isn't the only city where police and developers collaborate -- Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego have also taken this approach -- but according to the Post, it's "ahead of many of its peers" since police get involved so early on. In a recent meeting with the developer of the Wharf -- a planned hub for restauraunts, hotels and concerts along the D.C. waterfront -- police recommended eliminating dark nooks and installing brighter lighting outside restaurants, according to the paper.