Patrol office for residents opens in Woodmoor Center is part of project to improve life along Liberty Road corridor

April 23, 1996|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

Woodmoor Shopping Center on Liberty Road is not considered a high-crime area, and residents from surrounding communities celebrated the opening of a Citizens-on-Patrol center there yesterday to keep it that way.

The second-floor patrol center, which includes a police substation, takes up a 900-square-foot office -- a remodeled dental office leased to community organizations for $1 a year by Honolulu Ltd., which owns the Woodmoor and nearby Liberty Crest shopping centers.

It will be staffed by members of Citizens on Patrol groups from the Woodmoor, Lochearn, Pahl's Crossing, Villa Nova and Willow Glen neighborhoods. The center is part of a project to improve life in the Liberty Road corridor, said County Council Chairman Kevin Kamenetz, a Pikesville-Randallstown Democrat.

"The center was one of the recommendations of a [community] to improve the corridor," said the councilman, who joined County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger III and Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan at the dedication. "It's the first time we've had a center where several [community patrol] groups could meet."

"Luckily, we are not in the position of having to 'take our neighborhood back' from outside forces, but we still want to increase the police presence at the shopping center," said Gerald Jackson, vice president of the Woodmoor Community Association and director of its citizen patrol. "We are trying to keep it from getting to that point."

Mr. Kamenetz, whose district includes the Liberty Road corridor, said the center also will provide a convenient place where police officers on patrol can find a clean restroom, use the telephone and write reports.

Mr. Jackson said the community groups hope to keep the center open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Police officers who patrol the area will have access at other times.

Both shopping centers received a $1 million face lift last year through the county's streetscape program, paid for by local government and the shopping center operator. Honolulu Ltd. is an entity of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Baltimore area's largest private philanthropic foundation.

Pub Date: 4/23/96

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