WASHINGTON (AP) - DC police are crediting a Muslim neighborhood watch group with cleaning up a formerly drug infested neighborhood.
The group has focused its efforts on Seventh Street Northwest between P and Q streets, site of the long-troubled Kelsey Gardens apartment complex.
The group's founder, Leroy Thorpe, says members practice a more orthodox form of Islam than such groups as the Nation of Islam. The group is a spin-off of the Citizens Organized Patrol Efforts, which operates in the Shaw neighborhood. Both groups are unarmed and dress in red T-shirts and red baseball caps with "COPE Patrol" written on them.
Police say they know of no other religion-based citizens patrol operating in the District. Several patrol members say they hope to duplicate it in other neighborhoods.