Mayor Marion Barry walked the streets of Georgetown last night, and found calm civility prevailing in the area where just a week ago unruly crowds and violent incidents provoked a public outcry.
The mayor, who said he was "just out here to assess things," said that he found them "rather quiet, as I expected them to be."
Barry went to the home of Ray Browne, chairman of the public safety committee of Georgetown's Advisory Neighborhood Commission and then walked along M Street NW, shaking hands with restaurateurs and other strollers in the area, a traditional center of Washington nightlife.
While there was an isolated cry of "Mr. Mayor, it's time to resign," Barry received a warm and friendly reception from most of those he encountered.
"I don't know who says that Georgetown isn't safe," the mayor told a reporter when asked for his assessment. "It looks safe to me."
Last Saturday night and Sunday morning, several pedestrians were attacked and five police officers were injured in scuffles, as rowdiness flared in a weekend crowd estimated at 40,000.
In previous years the onset of warm weather meant the deployment of an additional 50 police officers to the area on overtime for crowd control. But Police Chief Isaac Fulwood Jr., citing budget overruns, had suspended the overtime.
After the uproar touched off by last weekend's incidents, police restored the overtime on a reduced level. Police said 25 additional officers would be assigned to weekend duty in Georgetown, along with police cadets, who lack arrest powers.
Special operations division officers were also assigned to Georgetown last night, and for a second successive night, no incidents were reported by late evening. Members of the Guardian Angels, a civilian anticrime group were again present.
Crowds appeared moderate in size last night. Temperatures were in the 60s with a threat of rain in the air.
Mayor Barry rejected any connection between last weekend's incidents and police budget problems.
"I think Georgetown is a victim of its own success," he said. "I don't think last weekend's incidents were related to police overtime."