Noise problems continue to irk neighbors despite the addition of 900 beds to the Georgetown University campus in the Southwest Quadrangle, residents told the Advisory Neighborhood Commission on Tuesday night.

ANC Commissioner Tom Birch said he recieved many letters commending the Metropolitan Police Department for its performance on Halloween night in Georgetown. But applause for the police was cut short when Birch noted several complaints also received from residents.

“The dissatisfied comments came mostly from residents along Prospect Street and those of the west side of Georgetown [and] described a lack of police presence in the area [late that night],” he said.

Complaints centered on large groups of students loitering and making noise in the neighborhood. Residents also complained that etro’s presence, although strong from 10-11 p.m., disappeared when it was needed most in the early morning hours.

“When you have no visible police, things tend to get loud,” one resident said. “People expect some noise, but not terrible noise.”

Residents and commissioners agreed that noise problems appear to be on the rise. At least one neighborhood resident claimed that partying and noise issues were the worst in the 12 years he has lived in Georgetown.

“I don’t know why it’s worse this year, but it is, it’s substantially worse this year than it has been in the past,” an e-mail from a resident critical of the university said. “I feel that it is a university issue – these are university students. I would love to see some sort of responsibility taken by the university … because of the fact that their kids are screaming about the streets.”

Some residents complimented the police and said they saw no problems with students on Halloween.

Virginia Poole (CAS ’84) said that after trick-or-treaters had left the neighborhood around 11 p.m., noise problems subsided.

“We even saw three police officers on our corner,” she said. “Now that I think about it, that may have been a little excessive.”

Lt. Mark Carter addressed the police shortage and the lack of clear jurisdiction between campus and district police, calling on the university to set up more patrols beyond Healy Gates.

“Prospect Street is a chronic problem,” Carter said. “We’re going to put additional police out during the Christmas holidays – even if I have to do it myself.”

Carter also said, however, that the cause of this problem is not as clear cut as some of the residents’ perceptions.

“I am not here to beat up the students. Some people think [Georgetown] students are the cause of most of the crimes here,” he said. “And that is really not the case at all.”

Carter suggested that the commission ask the city to trim many of the trees and shrubberies in the neighborhood, which he said overhang the lighting and create dark holes that attract burglars and inhibit police vision.

Linda Greenan, assistant vice president for External Relations, told residents that Georgetown had taken steps to minimize noise complaints by instituting more SafeRides vans on Prospect Street.

ANC Commissioner Mike Glick (COL ’05) remained fairly quiet while grievances were brought against Georgetown students, but offered prescriptive advice after debate ended.

“I do think that there needs to be a more physical police presence along Prospect Street,” Glick said. “I was disappointed to hear [Lt. Carter] criticize campus police – it’s certainly not their jurisdiction to go outside LXR.”

Glick clarified that this presence should involve warnings and student education more than ticket fines for noise and breaking-up of parties.

The ANC has worked to correct these perceived problems, even attempting to join forces with the Metro Police. Last summer, the ANC instituted the “Georgetown Police Detail,” a neighborhood watch program. The council also urged the university to keep more student social events inside the campus gates.

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