Linthicum * Ferndale * Brooklyn Park * Pumphrey


January 12, 1993

Cab company's drivers to act as eyes, ears for county police

County police and the Associated Cab Co. have agreed to a cooperative venture aimed at reducing crime.

The company's drivers, who serve North County, Glen Burnie and Pasadena, are to become extra sets of eyes and ears for the department, reporting any suspicious activity they see in those neighborhoods.

"We have always reported suspicious things to police," said Associated Cabs owner Emmet Willis. "But this time we have a formal agreement with the police."

About 15 drivers are to receive special training Friday afternoon at the Northern District station, said police Capt. Gary Barr.

"Basically what they will do is call in suspicious activity to their dispatcher who will in turn call 911," he said. "We will be giving them a crash course on what they need to know."

Mr. Willis, whose taxicab business is in operation 24 hours a day, said he has 15 drivers who work during the day and 25 at night.

"Cabbies are out there a lot," Captain Barr said. "They are valuable sources of information."

Captain Barr said his officers came up with the idea recently when a cabbie gave them tips that helped them with a case. The officers realized the drivers are an untapped source of information.

The taxicabs will all have bumper stickers warning people that they are working with police and will report anything out of the ordinary.

"Although we don't have much of a problem with robberies, we hope it will work both ways," Mr. Willis said. "That it will help prevent crime as well as protect us."


* Linthicum: Burglars broke into a 1988 Honda that was parked in the 400 block of Cleveland Ave. Thursday and took cassette tapes and other property valued at $170.

* Ferndale: Burglars broke into a home in the 7100 block of B & A Blvd. Friday. Police do not know what was taken.

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