Georgetown University students and community residents expressed concerns about a recent increase in criminal and dangerous activity at an Oct. 30 Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) meeting.
The ANC 2E, a local government entity that represents the Georgetown, Burleith and Hillandale neighborhoods, included a public safety and police report in its recent meeting via Zoom alongside an update on crimes in the neighborhood over the past month, according to the commission’s agenda.
Georgetown students also noted their own public safety concerns after receiving six emails about a “Timely Safety Warning” via email from the Georgetown University Police Department (GUPD) the week of Oct. 15. The warnings included on- and off-campus crimes, including warnings of arson in the Village A dorm and a sexual assault on Tondorf Road, as well as a robbery and two carjackings off campus.
A university spokesperson said “Timely Safety Warning” emails provide students with warnings about any crimes that pose an ongoing threat to students and faculty in line with federal law.
Brian Romanowski, constituent services director for D.C. Council member Brooke Pinto, who represents the area, said during the meeting that the city launched a 211 call system to aid the community’s crime prevention efforts. The call system connects residents with immediate social services like emergency housing, substance use treatment programs or mental health crisis counseling.
“Hopefully they’ll be helpful in intervening before it gets to the level where people are involved in the criminal justice system,” Romanowski said at the meeting.
Philip Robinson, Metro Police Department’s (MPD) representative at ANC 2E meetings, said there had been several severe crimes over the past month, including a ride-sharing service driver robbing a passenger, a person who was threatened and robbed on 34th Street and a man whose kippah was snatched on M Street.
According to Robinson, although crime slightly decreased overall in Georgetown from 56 to 53 reports between September and October, violent robbery increased from three to five and burglary from one to four. The most common crime in the neighborhood has been property theft, with 39 instances in September and 34 in October.
Twenty-seven out of the 37 total reported crimes at the university were thefts in October, according to GUPD’s crime log.
Noah Vinogradov (SFS ’25) said he reported having his bike stolen from outside the Car Barn after leaving it locked for three nights on a bike rack. Vinogradov said that although GUPD was helpful and responsive, it was not able to help him find the bike, and ultimately he did not file a police report with MPD.
“I love that bike. I’ve had it since I was 13 years old, and it served me really well. But I guess it’s time to give it up. I doubt I’ll find it again,” Vinogradov said.
A university spokesperson said that in response to the uptick in crime in Washington, D.C., this fall, GUPD has taken steps to enhance safety on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods.
“This includes regular meetings with MPD Second District command staff and increased patrols in West Georgetown by MPD officers at night who are paid by Georgetown through our reimbursable detail program,” the spokesperson wrote.
Dario Cassera (CAS ’26), the president of Interhall, a student advocacy group for equitable living and facilities, said much of the group’s recent advocacy has revolved around increasing lighting and getting rid of limits on GoCard access to buildings after midnight so that students can access campus buildings for safety.
“If someone’s stalking you on this large campus at night, where lights are also not abundant on campus, we’re trying to advocate for that as well to put more lights on campus. It’s difficult, like if you’re in the MSB, you can’t get into the ICC at night. It’s ridiculous,” Cassera told The Hoya.
A university spokesperson said GUPD encourages students to share information about incidents via the LiveSafe app, a personal security system that connects users with GUPD when activated during an emergency situation. The spokesperson said students can also report suspicious activity, request a SafeRide or personal escort and use SafeWalk, a feature that allows users to share their location with specific people when leaving a location.
“We take student safety, health, security and emergency preparedness very seriously, and encourage students to review recent important information about safety resources, public health protocols and securing property,” the spokesperson said.
Cassera said that although there is a sense of safety in Georgetown, the lack of police from MPD in the direct neighborhood results in more crime and fear among students.
“There’s no police presence in the area. I feel like that’s been a little bit worrying, considering a lot of these carjackings and stalkings and stabbings have happened in this area,” Cassera said. “I’ll walk out at night, and it’ll be desolate, and nothing will be there.”