CAG Celebrates Block Captain Program; Community Reps Praise Organized Approach

The following report was provided, in part, by the Citizens Association of Georgetown.

On April 11, the Citizens Association of Georgetown (CAG) hosted a volunteer appreciation event for its Block Captain Program. As one of the most active community safety organizations in the District, the program boasts more than 100 block captains covering approximately 85 percent of the residential blocks in Georgetown.

The event kicked off with opening remarks from CAG’s Public Safety Co-Chairs Kate Hasty and Mark Martinkov, who introduced volunteer Ashok Gowda as the new director of the Block Captain Program.

“We organized this event to express our gratitude to our block captains for their dedication to connecting with their neighbors and fostering a sense of community. They go above and beyond, whether through the dissemination of community safety information or simply by being proactive leaders who initiate grassroots efforts on every block,” Hasty said.

CAG remarks were followed by keynote speeches from ANC 2E Chair Gwen Lohse, MPD Second District Commander Tatjana Savoy and Ward 2 Council member Brooke Pinto.

“The involvement of block captains enables us to effectively communicate and address specific needs within each block directly while also maximizing the impact of the valuable public safety resources available in Georgetown,” said Commissioner Lohse. “Block Captains are the glue that connects individual residents and the various community organizations in the neighborhood.”

Savoy introduced several members of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), including Captain Darren Haskis, Lieutenant John Merzig, Community Outreach Coordinator Kyi Branch and other officers from MPD’s Second District. During her speech, the 2D Commander highlighted significant initiatives, such as the launch of MPD’s summer bike team, the inauguration of D.C.’s Real-Time Crime Center, and the introduction of the new CameraConnectDC program. She underscored the effectiveness of these initiatives by citing a recent example: MPD swiftly apprehended a robbery suspect within the 1700 block of P St NW, thanks to the prompt acquisition of crime scene photos within just 10 minutes. 

Savoy encouraged all attendees to participate in the CameraConnectDC program, emphasizing its importance in enhancing neighborhood security. Residents can assist MPD in crime prevention by registering residential security cameras through the program’s website ( She emphasized that registration is free and enables MPD to promptly communicate with registered camera owners in the event of a nearby crime occurrence. The commander concluded by expressing optimism about the positive impact of such initiatives on community safety: “This represents a significant step forward in bolstering the use of cameras to enhance public safety.”

Pinto lauded the work of CAG’s Public Safety Committee under Hasty and Martinkov’s leadership in the last year. Pointing to CAG’s active involvement in the passing of the Secure DC legislation, Pinto said, “I talk with residents in every neighborhood across the city, and residents ask how they can be part of the solution. [Georgetown] actually did it. You showed up, volunteered your time, collected yourselves, organized, streamlined communication, and ensured it was happening. We are seeing the improvements as a result of that work.”

Representatives from the Mayor’s office, the Georgetown-Burleith Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC2E), D.C. Homeland and Emergency Services Agency (HSEMA), the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID), Georgetown Main Street, Georgetown Ministry Center and Kesher Israel Synagogue were in attendance. The event took place at Donahue, which offered their space for the occasion.

About the Block Captain Program: The CAG Public Safety program was formed over 20 years ago by CAG to create a neighborhood watch program and promote safety in the neighborhood. The program aims to enhance community safety, respond quickly to issues or crime, improve communication and encourage neighborhood cohesion. The goal is to have an active volunteer on every residential block in Georgetown. Those interested in serving as a block captain or want to contact their block captain, email

Second District Commander Tatjana Savoy and Ward 2 Council member Brooke Pinto. Photo by Bill Starrels.


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