Arundel executive candidate proposes police substations

August 11, 1994|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Sun Staff Writer

A Democratic county executive candidate has proposed creating a series of police substations to curb the fear of crime in Anne Arundel neighborhoods.

The substations, which would be staffed by police, firefighters, retired officers and neighborhood volunteers, are the core of an anti-crime package Robert Agee released this week.

Mr. Agee, of Crofton, was an aide to former County Executive O. James Lighthizer. He said putting the substations in the county's firehouses and unused school space would allow him to hold down construction and maintenance costs. Firefighters and police could share communications and other equipment, thus further lowering costs.

Two of the five Democratic candidates in the Sept. 13 primary have anti-crime proposals.

Democrat H. Erle Schafer proposed last month hiring at least nine new police officers to fill the complement of 25 the police chief requested last spring. County Executive Robert R. Neall financed 16 of those positions this year. Mr. Schafer said he also would aggressively pursue high-technology equipment, such as the "smart car" being developed by Westinghouse.

State Del. Theodore Sophocleus, another Democrat, is expected release his proposals later this week.

At a recent forum sponsored by the Greater Odenton Improvement Association, Mr. Agee said the county is experiencing a "crisis of fear," though the level of crime is actually low. His public safety plan appears to be aimed at the public's perception of crime.

Mr. Agee said hiring more police is an attractive solution but also expensive. Basic training of a single cadet costs $60,000.

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