A message to the residents of Chevy Chase Village from Chief John Fitzgerald:
The tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers has left us—and the nation—angry and shaken. While peaceful protests and demonstrations are expected and welcome, the violent riots in cities across the nation are destructive and frightening, and they diminish the important message embraced by peaceful activists seeking change. Over the weekend, looting events occurred very close to our neighborhood streets.
On Saturday night, a small group of people broke into the Saks Fifth Avenue store on Wisconsin Avenue and stole some merchandise. The alarm monitoring company alerted the County Police, and as patrol officers arrived, they saw three or four people running across Wisconsin Avenue, get into three cars, and race across the line into DC. A store representative was uncertain what was taken. At no time was there a direct threat to Village residents and there were no reports of the suspects entering the Village.
Last night (Sunday, May 31, 2020) at around 9:30 p.m., a large group (estimated by a police commander to be more than 100 people) broke windows and looted the CVS store at 5335 Wisconsin Avenue in DC across from the Mazza Gallarie. DC police responded to the CVS while Montgomery County police officers established a significant and visible presence along Western Avenue to prevent the rioters from entering Maryland. While no rioters entered the Village last night, the proximity of the looting has understandably left many of our residents unnerved.
Today, I have been in contact with key officials of the Montgomery County Police Department and the Metropolitan Police (DC) to gather intelligence about what we can expect in the coming days and to formulate a plan to work together effectively. We will continue to exchange information in the coming hours and days. As you must know, the Chevy Chase Village Police Department relies heavily on the resources of our larger partners in circumstances such as these.
Rest assured that Chevy Chase Village officers will be actively on patrol and monitoring the streets along the DC line, and the County Police will be sending multiple officers into the area as evening approaches to deter and respond to any criminal activity that might arise.
Residents are urged to stay abreast of local news coverage and to sign up to receive alerts directly to their mobile devices through Alert DC and Alert Montgomery (see the links below) to get prompt notification of events as they occur. Although the Village email blast system strives to provide timely information to our community, it is not to be used as a source for spontaneous events that unfold rapidly.
Residents are reminded to call 9-1-1 for all emergencies—to include crimes in progress—and they should call the Village Police at 301-654-7300 for non-emergency police service such as suspicious persons or situations.
Stay safe and well.