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Marks: Citizens on Patrol Could Improve Public Safety

Learn about how this program has worked in the Towson area, and whether it can be applied in Parkville and Perry Hall.

This Thursday, Feb. 2, I will host a Fifth District Community Advisory Council meeting at the at 7 p.m. I established the Community Advisory Council to bring together civic leaders from Towson, Loch Raven, Parkville and Perry Hall. The council meets quarterly to discuss legislation and issues of common interest.

When planning for this meeting several weeks ago, I thought it would be helpful for Parkville and Perry Hall residents to learn about the Towson Area Citizens on Patrol program. While there are Citizens on Patrol units throughout Baltimore County, the Towson Area COP is by far the largest and best organized. If there is interest in starting a COP program in northeastern Baltimore County, the Towson Area Citizens on Patrol can provide strong insight.

I had no idea when planning this presentation that Perry Hall would soon experience a  and . 

I have great respect for the . Captain Mike Balog provides constant communication to me, to our state legislators and to the Perry Hall Improvement Association. Perry Hall is still one of the safest communities in eastern Baltimore County. Still, I am extremely concerned about recent events and urge the public to remain vigilant and observant.

A Citizens on Patrol program can help improve public safety. Volunteers learn how to recognize and report suspicious activity and they often patrol neighborhood streets. But running a COP program can require a lot of work, which is why I have invited the Towson Area Citizens on Patrol program to brief the public on their operations.

Although the Community Advisory Council is targeted to civic leaders, anyone can attend this meeting. For more information, feel free to contact my office at dmarks@baltimorecountymd.gov

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tim January 30, 2012 at 02:27 PM
I can't help thinking of this every time I hear that term "Citizens on Patrol" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_Academy_4:_Citizens_on_Patrol :) Seriously though, I will see if i can make it to this.
Josephine Hlatki January 30, 2012 at 03:25 PM
It's on my calendar, David. I hope to bring some concerned citizens with me.
CarneyResident January 30, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Unfortunately what tends to happen is the complaining people will come voice their concerns at one or two meetings, but then, they or no one wants to step up and do any of the ongoing patrols.
moe green January 30, 2012 at 07:20 PM
get the cops out of the schools and on the streets where they belong
Paul Amirault January 30, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Would be an interesting fact finding mission as to where is there more crime, streets or schools? Clearly PH has some right now with burglaries and bank robberies.
Janice MacGregor January 30, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Thank you Councilman Marks for organizing this meeting. COP is a proven way for neighbors to make their communities a safer place to live, work and visit. Whether you are part of a COP organization or not, please be vigilant as you come and go from your home any time any day.
Parkvillehoney January 30, 2012 at 09:07 PM
I will make it to the meeting on Thursday. I feel every citizen can be a 'Citizen on Patrol" by being observant of suspecious activity. If you see a strange car or unknown persons, take a few minutes and watch their activity. Especially during the daytime when a number of crimes have been committed. If I see a strange car at my neighbors house, I am taking down a tag number and a description of the occupant. If I see something being removed from their house, I will be calling 911 immediately. I agree with Janice MacGregor. Call me a nosey neighbor, but you have to vigilant of your surroundings.
LalainMaryland January 31, 2012 at 01:57 AM
The. SRO program has so many benefits to schools. Clearly you don't understand it Moe.
Immanuel Baptist Church February 01, 2012 at 02:34 PM
"get the cops out of the schools" - really???? Have you walked down the halls of Perry Hall High School lately?
Bart February 01, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Cops in schools is a good thing. They are present as a positive influence for the kids, and are right there on hand if a problem does occur. An ounce of prevention.........
John L. February 26, 2012 at 04:32 PM
The best burgular alarm in the world is your neighbor. Being alert and aware of your surroundings is what it is all about. If you see some one who does not belong where they are then watch them, and call the Police 911. Keep an eye on them until the Police arrive and then tell them what you saw and where. Do NOT approach anyone, that is the job of the Police Officer and he is glad to be of service.
Parkvillehoney February 26, 2012 at 07:34 PM
John L is correct. An observant person is the best way to put a stop to crime. I am always on the lookout for cars or persons that don't look familiar. Get involved! Don't just look away when you see something suspicious. Don't feel bad calling 911. Let the police decide if it is an innocent person or a criminal act.

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