Residents of the Robinwood public housing development want the Annapolis Housing Authority to fence in 42 electrical transformers, one ofwhich severely burned a boy two weeks ago.
The residents began circulating a petition on Monday. The drive was started by Juanita Johns, mother of 8-year-old Terrence Tolbert, who was burned when he crawled into a 13,000-volt transformer. The boy was rescued by Annapolis police Officer Peter Medley and Robinwood resident Joseph Parker.
The petition asks the housing agency to put fences around all transformers in its 10 developments.
Housing Authority Executive Director Harold S. Greene said he was pleased that residents were organizing but said he doesn't plan to comply with their request.
Greene said he is looking into installing new locks on the boxes or burying a few troublesome ones.
Greene said all 42 transformers have locks. Someone broke into the Robinwood transformer the weekend before Tolbert was hurt, he said.
"If they can break into one of those boxes, what's going to stop them from clipping the wires on a fence?" Greene said.
He said he plans to explain his position to the residentswhen they present him with the petition.
"I'm very happy to see them organize," Greene said. "I hope they keep the momentum."
He said he hopes residents will report things like open transformer boxes.
"I have a difficult time believing no one saw that open," he said. "Report anything you see that's unusual. Don't let it go."
About200 Robinwood residents honored Medley and Parker last week for saving the boy. The two men were honored by the Robinwood Community Center, the county Planning Action Committees, the Black Political Forum and the county executive's office.
Parker and Medley will be honored again May 19 by the John Paul Jones Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Medley will receive the group's Law Enforcement Medal. Parker will be the first local recipient of the group's Hero's Medal.
"It's quite an honor," said group member Elmer Jackson. "It's quite a rare thing."
The group also will honor a county police officer, William Allen Staley, who rescued a man trying to commit suicide last year.
Staley pulled the man from a gasoline-soaked car as the man was about to ignite it.