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BCPD, Councilman Marks respond to crime

26 January 2014 By Aaron Isrin, Staff Writer No Comments

While debates and concerns are being raised over crime in Towson, a new report shows that some of the concerns are not unfounded.
On Jan.16, Baltimore County Police Department released their annual crime statistics that show a slight increase in the crime rate in Towson. According to the statistics, between January and September 2013, the Towson precinct had seven more cases of robbery, 25 more cases of violent crimes and 66 more cases of theft compared to the 5-year average for the same time frame
However these statistics don’t indicate a large increase in crime according to the Director of the Office of Media and Communications, Public Safety for Baltimore County Elise Armacost.
“Bear in mind that these stats are not just for Towson proper; they cover the entire Towson Precinct — a 17-square mile area that extends from the Baltimore City line north to I-695, east to Perring Parkway and west to Falls Road and is the most densely populated precinct (4,363 people per square mile) in the county,” she said in an email.
To handle the increase, Armacost says that BCPD has added three additional officer positions (one is filled already) to the Towson precinct and that the department will continue to work closely with Towson University Police.
“While we suspect that the perception of an increase in crime in the Towson precinct is greater than the actual increase, BCPD is concerned about any increase, in any precinct,” she said.
Baltimore County Councilman David Marks also said that Towson’s precinct still has a relative crime rate but that he also understands people’s concerns.
“It’s alarming when nothing happens for a month then you get crimes back to back,” he said
Marks says that there have been many initiatives made by the county to prevent future crimes.
Marks said that law enforcement is working with Towson Area Citizens on Patrol, a volunteer neighborhood watch, and helping them expand their networks. They are also helping them recruit new volunteers and spreading awareness.
He said that law enforcement has been looking into how small electronics are “recycled” or sold after they were stolen to find leads on suspects. Electronic devices like smartphones are one of the most common items taken in robberies. In addition, he said that officers are patrolling Burke Ave. and that efforts are being made to improve the lighting along the road to make students feel safer as they walk to and from the Towson University campus.
Marks said that there are many factors that contribute to the increase of crime in Towson and that Towson’s recent growth is an important factor. He also said that the county will continue to implement these changes and focus on any other concerns Towson has.
“We’re making sure that Towson is part of the dialogue,” he said.

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