Several cars parked by a Northeast firehouse have been broken into recently, while firefighters are away attempting to deter crime in the Trinidad neighborhood.
Late last year, the city's Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul Quander issued an order for at least one fire engine and five firefighters with the city's Engine Company 10 on Florida Avenue NE to park in Trinidad.
The strategy, according to Quander, is an effort to deter crime in a neighborhood often plagued with gang violence.
Dabney Hudson with the D.C. Firefighters' Union told News4 the strategy is bound to fail.
"When we start taking away the public's trust in our ability to be an impartial medical provider or emergency responder, then it places our members in greater danger," Hudson said.
Hudson noted the strategy could also slow down ambulance response times. In response, Timothy Wilson with D.C. Fire said the firefighters are asked to physically stop crime.
"During these posts, firefighters are not required to exit their apparatus or put themselves in a position to confront any criminal activity," Wilson said.
Following a recent string of burglaries and break-ins to firefighters' cars parked at Engine 10, crime seems to have found the firefighters anyway.
The latest burglary was reported late Thursday evening.
"I think it's a disgrace for people who are out here doing their job," Northeast D.C. resident Derek Howard said.