Westminster post is homecoming for officer Faries is new commander of state police barracks

June 16, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Uniform Crime Report program, Maryland State Police Pub Date: 6/16/96 SUN STAFF

For Lt. Lawrence E. Faries, the new state police barracks commander in Westminster, his June 5 reassignment from Prince George's County was a homecoming of sorts. He was assistant commander of the barracks from 1986 to 1992 and has lived in Carroll County for 24 years.

In replacing Lt. Bruce Tanner, who was transferred to Hagerstown, Faries faced an immediate challenge. Two days after he arrived, state police officials published annual Uniform Crime Report statistics showing that serious crime in Carroll County rose 5.4 percent last year, the biggest increase in the Baltimore region, which also includes Anne Arundel, Harford, Howard and Baltimore counties and Baltimore.

Included in the figures were violent crimes -- murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, which remained about the same compared to 1994 statistics -- and property crimes -- breaking or entering, larceny theft and motor vehicle theft, which accounted for the bulk of the statistical increase.

Statewide, violent crime jumped 5 percent and property crime rose 3 percent, for an overall 4 percent increase.

Faries said the reason for Carroll's rapid rise in crime is obvious -- the population has grown to more than 140,000, up nearly 15 percent in the last six years.

"It's a natural and a national trend that as population increases, crime goes up," Faries said. "We may have more crimes [in Carroll County] because more people are reporting it."

Faries said he is a big supporter of community policing, which strives to obtain cooperation from the community to report suspicious activity.

Now, as commander of the largest barracks in the state, including troopers and civilian employees, he will be able to expand community policing programs.

With a staff of about 70 troopers (he would not say exactly how many), Faries said, he will be able to run programs and set up details that commanders of smaller barracks are not able to implement.

Faries said his criminal investigators will step up efforts to solve a rash of daytime burglaries during the past month in the northern end of the county.

Thieves are targeting unoccupied houses that sit back from the road, where they can break in without being seen.

"They're getting pretty brash about it, too," Faries said. "They even sat down and ate lunch during one recent burglary."

Faries called the battle against drugs "continuous, always a high priority" and said his troopers will not ease up on speeders, aggressive drivers and drunken drivers.

Faries said he also is committed to making cooperation between his troopers and other law enforcement agencies in the county the cornerstone of his command.

In addition to his duties at the Westminster barracks, Faries will continue as commander of the Special Tactical Assault Team Element, of which he has been a member for 17 years.

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Carroll County crime

Offenses .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..1994 .. .. ..1995

Murder .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...2 .. .. .. ..1

Rape .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .27 .. .. .. .30

Robbery .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .50 .. .. .. .47

Aggravated assault .. .. .. .. .. .178 .. .. ...186

Breaking or entering .. .. .. .. ..681 .. .. ...656

Larceny theft .. .. .. .. .. .. .2,238 .. .. .2,442

Motor vehicle theft .. .. .. .. ...169 .. .. .. 184

Arson * .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .53 .. .. .. .40

Total .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...3,345 .. .. .3,526

* Arson statistics are collected differently from those for other crimes and are not included in the totals.

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