CAIRO — A group of Muslim men patrol the street of their a crime-prone Washington neighborhood to deter drug dealers and restore a lost sense of safety, to the welcome of residents ad local police.“Nobody is going to invest in a drug-infested area,” Leroy Thorpe, founder of the Muslim neighborhood watch who goes by the Muslim name Mahdi, told the Washington Post on Tuesday, August 28.
About two months ago, the owners of the 35-unit Kelsey Gardens complex in Shaw, a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in central Washington, D.C., asked the group to arrange security for the residents and crack down on drug dealers.
The complex is scheduled to be razed next month and a new structure will take its place and the owners want to encourage more investment in the area.
The patrol comprises a dozen of practicing Muslim men and is a spinoff of the Citizens Organized Patrol Efforts (COPE), a neighborhood watch established in 1988 in Shaw.
Dressed in ample red T-shirts and red baseball hats with “COPE Patrol” written on them, the Muslim patrol works 12-hour shifts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the peak nights for drug dealing.