D.C. police are still camped out on tiny Hanover Place NW, the city's former No. 1 cocaine market, nine weeks after a late-night raid disrupted the trafficking there.
The block-long street near New York Avenue and North Capitol Street, nicknamed Fort Hanover by the police assigned to patrol it around the clock, is the only street in town with a resident police force.
The once congested block is now virtually empty except for the large, blue-and-white police van parked at one end and the people who live there.
Assistant Police Chief Issac Fulwood, who has taken responsibility for keeping drugs off the block, said the police will continue to staff the van and patrol the surrounding buffer zone "indefinitely."
Between the initial raid on Dec. 3 and Jan. 31, Fulwood said, police made 417 arrests, 224 of them on narcotics charges. He said police have seized 28 firearms, five cars, $14,000 in cash and drugs with a street value of $45,000.
Fulwood said the crackdown, dubbed Operation Avalanche, is a "qualified success." It was the third attempt by police to crush the drug trafficking on Hanover Place in the last two years. "We will be staying at Hanover Place," he said. "We can't afford not to win this battle. If we lose this one, no one will ever believe the mayor or the police chief again."