Police chief details zero tolerance He touts crackdown on street-level crime

March 11, 1997|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County Police Chief Larry W. Tolliver touted his policies of a "zero tolerance" crackdown on street-level drug dealers and confiscation of cars used in crimes such as drug possession last night in Crofton.

The measures would help stop the break-ins that are often committed by people looking for money to buy drugs, Tolliver told the Crofton Civic Association's board of directors and about 10 residents at a meeting at Crofton Elementary School.

"We're going after the people to send the right message that we're not going to put up with people using drugs, buying drugs and everything associated with it," said Tolliver, the former state police superintendent, who assumed his county post at the end of January.

Sharon Puckett, a 10-year Crofton resident, said she liked the sound of the more-stringent policies, even though Crofton has a lower crime rate than do Annapolis and other urban areas.

"We've got to keep this area clean," said Puckett, a designer and mother of two young children. "That's why we moved here."

She said she especially liked the idea of police seizing vehicles used in crimes, even if it means police could one day take her car from one of her children.

"If that's the only way I'm going to find about [their criminal activity], throw them in jail," Puckett said. "I'm zero tolerant."

Tolliver highlighted several other changes and new police initiatives, including sobriety check-points run for the first time by county police and the reopening of the cold-case squad.

Tolliver also said he would support extending the jurisdiction of the Crofton police force to include Routes 450 and 424, which, along with Route 3, encompass the special tax district. The extension would allow Crofton officers to issue speeding tickets on those two roads. But the change would require legislation by the county council, Tolliver said.

Board President Edwin F. Dosek was pleased to hear that Crofton could one day have its own volunteer reserve officers to help its police force. The county would be willing to train the volunteers but Crofton would have to provide marked cars and uniforms for them, according to Tolliver.

The county uses the volunteers to direct traffic, patrol neighborhoods and search crime scenes, among other duties.

Pub Date: 3/11/97

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