The Baltimore Police Department yesterday awarded grants to neighborhood associations from across the city to help them combat crime, pick up trash and board up vacant dwellings.
The 59 community groups each received as much as $2,000. More than 60 had applied for a chunk of the $95,000 that police made available from one of its own federal grant awards.
"This is one of the promises we made," Commissioner Edward T. Norris told the association representatives who gathered in the second-floor atrium of Police Headquarters. "We want to keep the community very involved."
Mayor Martin O'Malley called the winners the "people who risk action every day on the faith that they can make a difference in their own neighborhoods."
He told the leaders that police need help fighting crime. "If you're not helping us, we're not going succeed," the mayor said.
Communities proposed a variety of projects. The Charles Village Community Benefits District got $1,761 to buy 65 steering wheel locks and 1,000 fliers to help reduce car thefts in the historic neighborhood.
The Southern District Community Relations Council got $1,740 to buy Kidcare Kits to aid in identifying missing children. The Harbel Community Association got $1,165 for computers for its Citizens on Patrol program.
Helen Holmes, who heads the Barclay Leadership Council, complained of rats in her East Baltimore community and got $1,462 for garbage cans, brooms, shovels and gloves for a cleanup.
"We have done a lot already," Holmes said. "We had rats. We see very few rats now."
The Seton Hill Neighborhood Association got $1,761 for reflective vests and other items for its patrol program.
"There are a lot of things that need to be done in our neighborhood," said its representative, Karen French. "We can't do it without money."