Hayden angered by ad warning about police cuts BALTIMORE COUNTY

January 07, 1993|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

A Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police radio ad featuring warnings about increasing crime in the county against a background of wailing sirens and hysterical screams was termed "unconscionable" yesterday by County Executive Roger B. Hayden.

The ad criticizes Mr. Hayden for cutting police budgets and manpower while crime is rising in the county. Mr. Hayden's talk show on WBAL radio yesterday provided the perfect forum for discussing the ad, which played during the half-hour show.

As sirens and people scream in the background, a voice in the ad says: "Robberies, murders, rapes . . . That's life today in Baltimore County. . . . What are the politicians doing?" Then the increase in the county's murders last year is mentioned. The voice continues: "Roger Hayden has cut police."

The war of words comes as county workers grow increasingly tense about the layoffs Mr. Hayden predicted he would use to help balance the county's budget. He also is planning permanent cuts in county government in response to two years of state budget cuts and falling local revenues.

Mr. Hayden found the murder statistics cited in the ad especially disturbing. The 25 murders recorded in 1991 were below the county's average of 33 a year and shouldn't have been compared with 1992's record total of 45, he said. He also said the county's per capita murder rate, about 6 per 100,000 residents, is far below the national average of 9.9 per 100,000 residents.

The executive also criticized the ad's tone. "It's unconscionable that the FOP leadership would endorse scare tactics that will make their own job more difficult. We can't be stampeded into doing something," he told one caller from Dundalk.

Timothy Caslin, FOP Lodge 4 president, defended the ads.

"We're making the public aware that crime is going up and the number of police are going down," he said. "We need more police."

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