Upset about poor police response to his mugging in 2002, John Aravosis set up a Web site last year to track the performance of the Washington, D.C., police and serve as a sounding board for community complaints about officers. The Washington Post reports that the 40-year-old political consultant said he thought his site would annoy the police department and perhaps spur it into taking quicker action on crime. He never imagined that www.safestreetsdc.com would become popular not only with neighborhood groups but also with members of the department he was complaining about. Some grew testy when the message board vanished three months ago and the activist took a break from updating the site. The police had been using the message board to voice frustrations they face in doing their jobs.
Last week, the hiatus ended when Aravosis upgraded the bulletin board and brought in a partner to help him monitor discussion threads and post more items. Aravosis decided he would not abandon the project because he grew to care about rank-and-file officers and wanted to keep pressure on top brass to fix problems.