You might have heard by now that funding for the construction of a permanent police station in District 6 has been removed in the county executive’s Capital Improvement Program. The indefinite postponement of this project could not have come at a worse time for our community. Crime is on the rise in the upcounty and violent crime in particular is up in the Montgomery Village area.
Many of my upcounty state legislative colleagues and I have asked the county executive to reconsider his decision to halt the project and move forward with the construction of a permanent police station east of I270 in 2012 as originally planned. In our letter we stated, “…the continued rise in crime highlights the need for a police station located in the upcounty east of I270. Response times for police action are seriously curtailed by the station’s current location, causing our residents to feel unsafe as they work, shop and live in our neighborhoods. We strongly urge you to revise the CIP and return the funding to this very important project. The citizens of upper Montgomery County deserve the same efforts to ensure their safety as is afforded to the rest of the county.”
Public hearings on the recommended fiscal 2013-2018 Montgomery County Capital Improvement Program will take place on Tuesday, February 7th and Thursday, February 9th at 7PM in the Council Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850. It is important for our community to voice their opinion on this cut. If you would like to testify at the hearing, call 240-777-7803, or you can contact the County Executive here. You can also contact the County Council here.
I have had several meetings with our county police over the past few months, and I assure you they are doing everything possible for our community with the resources available to them. Here are some tips from the police for staying safe when you are away from home:
- Have keys ready when approaching your vehicle. Check for intruders before, and lock the door immediately after, getting into your vehicle.
- Close all windows (in addition to locking all doors) when leaving your vehicle, whether it's for a few minutes or several hours
- Lock all valuables in the trunk.
- At night, park in well-lighted areas.
- Do not attach your name or license tag number to your key ring.
- Never pick up a hitchhiker or hitchhike yourself.
- Always keep your gas tank at least half full.
- If your vehicle breaks down in an isolated area, raise the hood, lock the doors and stay inside. If someone stops to help, ask him or her to call the police. Sound the horn if you feel threatened.
- If you see a suspicious vehicle or one driving recklessly notify the Police.
Montgomery County Police have several safety brochures on their website, (click here), and you can report suspicious activity at either the nonemergency number 301-279-8000 or the anonymous tip line 240-773 TIPS (8447). In an emergency, always dial 911.