Pioneer City shows the way to tackle crimeIn his...

LETTERS

October 19, 1997

Pioneer City shows the way to tackle crime

In his commentary in The Sun in Anne Arundel on Oct. 5, Capt. Tim Bowman describes the police-community partnership that has been developed in Pioneer City and its positive impact on the youth of that community.

That partnership is the result of a very successful community policing effort.

Tim is commander of the county police department's Western District, and a longtime proponent of Problem Oriented Community Policing.

Problem Oriented Policing refers to determining the root cause of a problem and addressing it proactively, rather than continually reacting to its effect.

As an example, it might be preferable to organize after-school events for kids rather than continually arresting them for loitering outside the school or for vandalizing school property.

Tim and the dedicated members of the community who work along with him are to be commended for their visionary approach to dealing with crime and disorder in Pioneer City.

They recognized that "zero tolerance" is only one ingredient in the recipe for success. No one wants a police department that is shortsighted in seeking solutions.

Thankfully, the Anne Arundel County Police Department is staying on the cutting edge and is meeting its responsibilities to the citizens of our county.

FBI statistics indicate that crime was down across the nation for the fifth year in a row.

These numbers would suggest that we are winning some battles.

But unfortunately, the war is far from over. Part of this downturn in crime must be attributed to the fact that our population has aged somewhat. Our baby boomers are now in their 40s.

However, by the year 2005, our teen-age population will have grown by 15 percent. Teen-agers without direction and "connection" to society are an at-risk population for involvement in crime.

Therefore, we must continue to deal with the root causes of their problems, mentor and nurture them, and address their concerns.

Obviously, teen-age crime is only a part of the overall picture.

Tim and his partners in Pioneer City are on the right track.

Bob Russell

Linthicum Heights

The writer is a former Anne Arundel County police chief.

VTC

Where has Callahan been these years?

Where has Dennis Callahan been for the last eight years?

He has run for mayor of Annapolis twice, then, after losing, seemed to lose interest in the city. I can't recall seeing or hearing of him being involved in any community activities between elections.

His term as mayor in 1985-89 left me feeling as though the city had been through a ringer.

Some things got done, but his approach to governing was often confrontational and polarizing.

Dean Johnson, in contrast, has been an alderman the past eight years and has a history of community service, including serving as president of the Admiral Heights Improvement Association, Germantown PTA, Anne Arundel County Trust for Historic Preservation, Colonial Players and as an elder/deacon of his church.

He is a consensus builder and brings out the best in people. He is clearly committed to the wellbeing of our city. I urge my fellow Annapolitans for vote for him to be our next mayor.

Robert N. Slawson

Annapolis

State could do more to spur boat industry

The Sun editorial touting the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis ("Boating on the rebound," Oct. 10) claimed that "exhibitors couldn't ask for a better environment for selling luxury sailboat."

In fact, Maryland could provide a better environment, and legislation we sponsored during the '97 session sought to do so.

The legislation would have reduced the excise tax on boat sales from 5 to 4 percent and allowed for a deduction for the value of a vessel traded as part of the sale.

This important legislation would make Maryland more competitive with our neighbor states, increase boat sales and boating industry employment and provide a booster shot for the Maryland economy.

It deserves to be enacted in 1998.

Del. Charles A. McClenahan

Del. John R. Leopold

Annapolis

The writers are representatives in districts 38 (Somerset) and 31 (Anne Arundel), respectively.

Shelter from Storm thanks its supporters

The addition of "Shelter from the Storm" to the resources for teens and families in Anne Arundel County has been received with great enthusiasm and support.

The grand opening celebration held Sept. 24 honored three special contributors -- Donald Cameron Kehne, Russell Mobley and Emily Hall -- for their outstanding support and dedication through volunteerism and donations coordination.

I am again awed and inspired by the continuous support afforded the runaway and homeless youth shelter by this community. We included an insert in our program recognizing the more than 100 people and organizations who have donated their time, energy and material assistance to the shelter so far, and we've only just begun. I am confident of the continued growth and expansion of shelter services with the help of this community.

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