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'Safe Streets' Initiative Helps Reduce Area Crime

Members of Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention continue to work with local communities to help reduce and prevent crimes.
FREDERICK, Md. - Data driven policing and targeting offenders are two ways the Frederick Police Department says they're able to help reduce and prevent crime in the City.

This year Frederick Police Chief Thomas Ledwell said Governor Martin O’Malley’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention gave $200,000 to his department through the "Safe Streets" grant.

“It's been key in our crime fighting efforts. We have a crime analysis who’s funded through it. We’re big in data-driven policing, in targeting offenders, the eight percent committing 80 percent of the crime. We also use it to target hard in certain areas,” said Frederick Police Chief Thomas Ledwell.

Police and members of the Crime Prevention Office met with members of the community to talk about the "Safe Streets" initiative.

“Safe Streets is open for the citizens of Frederick to come out and learn about crime and crime prevention, and take ownership in preventing crime in the community through a variety of different outlets,” said Gregory Coster, crime analyst at the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

Police lead the group on a tour through Mullinix Park, an area police are able to better target through the Safe Streets grant. Some Frederick residents said they could look outside their house and see 40 people in the park at a time, drinking and doing drugs.

“We've had some issues up there in the recent years,” said Ledwell “Things like nuisance crimes all the way to a homicide we had there in 2012.”

Police have since used natural resources to help address community concerns. A few ways they say they're doing this is by making sure trees are properly trimmed so lights are not blocked and people can’t hide out in the park. They also say they’re working to limit the entrances into and out of the park, so they can better monitor the area. 

Next, they plan to put a fence on both sides of Mullinix Alley, a place police say was once a hot spot for drug activity. The safe streets grant has helped the department crack down on these kind of hot spot areas, according to Chief Ledwell.

“It gives us the ability to analyze crime better, it gives the ability to work on projects such as Mullinix Park so we’re not repeatedly going out there taking reports on crimes, we’re trying to prevent them,” said Ledwell.


Frederick
is one of seven cities across the State receiving the grant, Hagerstown and Cumberland also do. The first Safe Streets grant was initiated in Annapolis in 2008, and law enforcement officials say it since has helped lead to the arrest of 164 gang members there.

To learn more about the safe streets initiative in your community, you can contact the Governor’s office of Crime Control and Prevention at (410)-821-2855. You can also contact the Frederick, Hagerstown and Cumberland Police departments.  


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