Balto. Co. gets $1 million to fight crime State awards target high-crime areas, prevention efforts

August 22, 1998|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

When police were hunting burglary suspect Gerhard P. Kurth last month, they knew his name, where he hung out in Baltimore County and who his friends were. But they didn't know what he looked like.

In Greenwich, Conn., where Kurth was also wanted by law enforcement officials, police had a picture they were willing to share. But getting the photograph from Greenwich to Towson quickly wasn't easy. "It took us all day," said Chief Terrence B. Sheridan.

Come October, it might be quicker and easier, thanks to a new digital-imaging computer system the Baltimore County Police Department hopes to have online. That system is one of several investments made possible by state grants announced this week.

Calling Maryland "a national leader in protecting all victims of crimes," Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend announced more than $1 million dollars in state grants for Baltimore County.

Addressing citizen activists and police officers at the Woodlawn Precinct on Thursday, the elected officials said more than 50 grants had been awarded in four broad categories intended to deal with crime and its aftermath.

Three grants totaling $164,435 were described as helping to target high-risk offenders. They included $67,455 to help the Baltimore County Police Department create a computerized RTC digital mug shot system and automate its data collection on drug trafficking.

A program to provide substance abuse services to female inmates received $73,458.

The largest group of grants was given to efforts to prevent youth violence, drug use and gangs -- $318,904. The money will be divided among 28 recipients including Police Athletic League centers, private groups and churches.

Eleven small grants (the largest was $2,000) were given to help citizens groups reclaim their at-risk neighborhoods. Recipients included groups from Villa Nova, Norwood Holabird, Birchwood, Tall Trees, Idlewylde, Stoneleigh and West Inverness.

More than $300,000 was given to the Hot Spots Communities initiative, which links police, probation officers and juvenile officers to closely monitor offenders.

Nine grants to help victims were also announced Thursday, totaling $276,637.

Pub Date: 8/22/98

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