Shaken merchants grateful for more patrols in Eldersburg October killings left area bank edgy SOUTHEAST -- Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

December 11, 1992|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

The holdup and killings of two employees at Farmers Bank only a few miles from the South Carroll area, has put Eldersburg merchants and residents on edge.

"All those people down there were really hyper following the shooting in Randallstown in October," said Sheriff John Brown.

John Salony, vice president of Reisterstown Federal Savings Bank, which has a branch in Eldersburg, said the robbery made bank employees see the dangers in their workplace.

"We had great empathy for the victims, and our employees had a lot of fear," he said.

He asked for the sheriff's help in quelling the anxiety.

"Banks can take all kinds of precautions to enhance security," said Mr. Salony.

"But police visibility offers the most protection."

The sheriff's response was positive and immediate, said Mr. Salony.

Deputies stepped up patrols in Eldersburg and Sykesville.

The sheriff said he intends to continue the drive-bys as long as possible.

He said he has his people "constantly checking" banks and other area businesses.

"I have four patrol cars on each shift and several unmarked cars, too," he said. "In between serving warrants and whenever they are in the vicinity, they try to do whatever they can."

Because law enforcement visibility is a "tremendous deterrent," the officers make it a point "to be around, especially at closing time."

"The visibility of patrol cars helps tellers feel a little more secure," said the sheriff. "The officers often get out of the car and go into the bank just to check in."

The police presence has done much to "allay the concerns of employees and customers and all the residents here," said Mr. Salony, an Eldersburg resident for 14 years.

"We know there is somebody watching who is trained and capable, and we are appreciative of whatever help we receive."

AReisterstown Federal has its own security officer, who constantly assesses ways to protect employees, he said.

"There is nothing like prevention and having trained people who know how to respond," he said. "That's where the visibility of the sheriff's patrols is so vital."

Mr. Salony is also a frequent shopper at Carrolltowne Mall, where "there is a lot less anxiety among shoppers now" because of the frequent patrols, he said.

"Seeing a police car makes me and other shoppers feel safer," he added.

The Sheriff's Department is providing "a strong statement of security" for South Carroll, said Mr. Salony. "They absolutely deserve all our thanks."

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