Schaefer to take public's calls on crime TV/radio show set for tomorrow

April 24, 1993|By Staff Report

For three hours tomorrow night, Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Cabinet members will take calls from citizens concerned about crime during "The Governor's Crime Summit" call-in program.

Violent crimes, such as rape, robbery and murder, have increased by 40 percent in the last 18 years in Maryland, while the rate of property crimes per 100,000 residents has remained unchanged, according to state statistics.

The crime summit "gives citizens a chance for three solid hours to interact with some of the most knowledgeable people in the criminal justice area," said Leonard A. Sipes Jr., spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

The first hour of the live town meeting will air on Maryland Public Television, Channels 67 and 22. The full three hours will be broadcast on nine radio stations, including WXYV-FM (V103) and WCAO-AM (600) in Baltimore.

Part of the second annual governor's summit on violent crime, the program is a prelude to the May 19-20 meeting at Coppin State College. U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno is scheduled to address the summit at noon May 20.

During tomorrow's program, Governor Schaefer, Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services Bishop L. Robinson and Maryland State Police Superintendent Larry Tolliver will answer questions from MPT's Owings Mills studios.

Five other Cabinet members and other officials involved in crime prevention, parole, investigation, substance abuse and juvenile services also will talk to callers.

"Out of this will come a report, where a variety of state agencies will have the opportunity to sit and write a blueprint for crime reduction in the state," Mr. Sipes said.

Callers who want to speak with the governor on the air should call (800) 926-0629. Callers who don't wish to have their voices heard on the air but want to speak to officials should call (800) 222-1292; they may ask for anonymity.

"While we advocate getting tough with criminals, we recognize that is not the complete answer," Mr. Sipes said.

"We realize we must all work together to fight crime. We must continue incarceration and more police officers and harsher sentences, but we also need ideas for getting at the root causes of crime.

"We recognize we are in this for the long haul," he said.

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