Another murder, this time in my neighborhood ["Waiter Killed in Dupont Circle on Walk Home," Metro, Aug. 24], and the victim was someone I knew.

Once again the media and government follow the script:

* The media reports that neighbors, family and friends are shocked, hurt and outraged, while ignoring that a murder was inevitable.

* The mayor stays in town long enough to meet with community leaders.

* The mayor holds a news conference touting all the good his administration does and promising improvements. Other city officials promise improvements.

* The media report on community leaders complaining about the obvious and widely known problems that led to the crime.

* For a few days, the city makes a show of fixing some of the problems that led to the crime.

* The police promise to put more officers on the street. In fairness, the corrective action usually lasts a few days -- about as long as the sound and fury about the murder.

I hold three men responsible for this situation:

* Mayor Anthony A. Williams, because his administration cannot deliver basic services such as replacing and repairing streetlights. Predators know when and where to wait for their victims.

* Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, for still not having enough officers on the streets to protect residents.

* Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, who, maybe for political reasons, raised the terrorism threat level. This means more city police guarding buildings and fewer on the streets protecting citizens.

Yes, the police have made an arrest in this case [Metro, Aug. 27], but as long as the media, the mayor, the police and the Bush administration ignore the dangers that D.C. residents face, the same old script will be followed again soon.

PHIL CARNEY

Washington