Thursday, August 16, 2007

Crime: Ward 3

Crime is evolving into a favorite topic of this blog, quite possibly because public safety should be the #1 concern of any government. (Normally I would not make such a blanket statement as this, but this is a generally accepted premise, right?)

I receive the daily email from the police department, which you too can receive by clicking here. I usually scan the police reports, trying to get an idea of what types of crimes are occurring and where.

I happened to notice a trend of events happening in the Bowman Dr./Ct. area:

THEFT ( OR, * SHORTY ROB* STRIKES AGAIN) On August 14th, a Housing Authority Property Manager reported that someone had removed 9aluminum window frames from six different townhouses in the 1800 block of Bowman Court. The perpetrator had removed the frames and windows in tact, then broken out the glass and disassembled the frames before taking them from the scene. Investigation determined that the frames had been sold to a nearby recycler as scrap metal. The man that sold the material was known to the recycling center only as * Shorty Rob.* Other community members also said that * Shorty Rob* was seen taking the window frames. * Shorty Rob* has also been implicated in other unsolved crimes in the area. He is described as a black male, age in30's or 40's, short, with a heavy build. He is known to frequent the Annapolis Gardens. Anyone with information as to * Shorty Rob*s*true name and identity is asked to call police at 410-268-9000.(07-004474)

BURGLARY: On August 8th at 12:38 AM resident of the 1800 block of Bowman Drive reported that she had encountered an armed intruder in her house. The victim said that she had been upstairs. When she came down to the first floor, she saw an unknown male suspect holding handgun on her three daughters. The victim ran back up the stairs. The suspect then pointed the gun at a male resident and demanded that the resident give him something that he claimed was owed to him. The resident told him that he did not know to what he was referring. The suspect then fled out the back door. He had apparently entered through the same door, which had been left unlocked. Officers searched the area for the suspect with negative results, and the investigation is continuing. (07-004332)

DRUG ARREST: On August 8th at 9:01 AM, an officer on routine patrol noticed a suspicious subject lurking behind some bushes in the 1800block of Bowman Court. She was identified as Kim Renee Harris, 39, of Eastport Terrace. Investigation led to the recovery of a crack pipe from her person. She was arrested and charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. (07-004334)

(I'm sure there are recurring crimes on other streets, but this is just one I noticed.)

So I got to thinking...where the heck is Bowman Dr.? Answer: In between West St. and Moreland Pkwy, near the Merrit Athletic Club, and within walking distance of The Capital. More important answer, at least for the purposes of this post: in Ward 3.

Wait a minute....Ward 3? But the alderwoman for Ward 3 just said:

There have been no recent calls or complaints of crime in Ward 3, said Alderwoman Classie G. Hoyle, D-Ward 3. However there have been a few break-ins in the Germantown/Homewood neighborhood, she said.

"I was disappointed that we didn't get the kind of support for National Night Out that we should have," she said. "People are complaining, but we didn't have the numbers out there to demonstrate that we are concerned."

Mrs. Hoyle said mandatory sentencing for crimes involving guns is her top concern, and she's investigating what can be done to reduce the number of guns on the streets.

She also wants to focus attention on enforcing the laws against dark-tinted windows on vehicles.

These seem like "recent calls or complaints". Does the alderwoman pay attention to the reports? What kind of priorities does the Honorable Ms. Hoyle have? Drugs and robbery--including armed robbery--seem like a pretty big deal to me. And these reports just scratch the surface. How many crimes go unreported? How many reports have been filed and I/we have not seen?

Merely adding police officers will not solve the problem. (See previous post) We need a comprehensive plan, which starts with a chief that is willing to admit there is a problem and willing to address it.

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