Announced via Press Release:

County Executive Ball To Hold Public Safety Forum

COLUMBIA, MD – On Monday, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball will host a community forum to discuss the state of public safety in Howard County. At the forum, residents will hear from leading public safety officials and will have the opportunity to ask questions to the panel on safety-related issues.

“Howard County is consistently ranked one of the nation’s safest communities, thanks to the dedicated service of our public safety officials. With strong community outreach, mental health awareness, and community collaboration we will continue to protect our county with care and vigilance,” said Ball. “Together, we can support all our residents, because everyone deserves to be safe, and feel safe, in their neighborhood.”

The panel will feature County Executive Calvin Ball, Police Chief Lisa Myers, Fire Chief Christine Uhlhorn, Sherriff Marcus Harris, State’s Attorney Richard Gibson, and Office of Emergency Management Deputy Director Michael Hinson.

WHAT: Community forum to discuss public safety in Howard County

WHEN: Monday, September 23, 2019 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Wilde Lake Middle School cafeteria (10481 Cross Fox Ln, Columbia, MD 21044)

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I am glad to see this forum happening in Howard County. There are some that have been concerned with “what looks like” rising crime in Howard County and would love to know that our officials have a plan (if crime is on the rise) to address it.

We are no where near many of our neighboring counties when it comes to crime…but it does not mean that we should not discuss what we are seeing right here in Howard County.

I hope we hear a lot of information on what things have been like in past years and where we are today in 2019.

Scott E

2 COMMENTS

  1. Funny story, I have a ring camera and use the neighbors app associated with it. I see alot of scared HoCo residents on that app. I felt I need to assuage people that crime was not up and Columbia is not getting worse. I posted on the Neighbors app that HoCo crime is down, and continues to drop year after year, I included the link to the police departments crime stats. Guess what the moderators did to my posting? They deleted it, saying it was not related to crime, or public safety. See the thing is, fear sells Ring products, and that app spreads fear to sell more Ring products. That said, I like the app, and I like my Ring cameras. I think they should include crime stats and some indicator that crime is up or down, because as it stands, their app is all about fear, when it should be about knowledge and safety.

    • Public Safety Centennial Lane
      To: hcletters@tronc.com
      Sent: Saturday, September 14, 2019, 1:53:52 PM EDT
      Subject: LTE-More biking, pedestrian infrastructure could be coming to Howard County

      I read with interest, Erin B. Logan’s article “More biking, pedestrian infrastructure could be coming to Howard County”in the September 5th issue of the Columbia Flier. As someone who walks 50+ miles a week in and around Howard County, I would like to see safer pedestrian pathways, sidewalks and shared bike ways.

      For example, Howard County spent millions of County capital dollars building and rebuilding the Centennial “Streetscape”. Howard County Government acquired both sides of Centennial Lane from the Burleigh developer in the 80s to retain the character of the Lane and the tree canopy. (I worked for Rec and Parks) Part of the plan was to create a Streetscape, including a sidewalk and lighting. A bike lane along the east side of Centennial Lane was removed during a Centennial Lane realignment. Bike Lanes were added in the 2016-2017 retrofit of the Streetscape.. An auto accident that took out a streetlamp Labor Day Weekend resulted in the street being cleared, yet the bike lanes and sidewalk were littered by glass and other debris. A flag down of a police officer, doing a “school patrol” at 9 AM on 9/11, and a discussion of public safety with that officer, yielded no County action. Debris remained as of 9/14.

      It’s unclear who, in County Government, planned for maintenance, safety augmentation and enhancements. The sidewalk is not maintained. Callers to the County are told that it’s the adjacent property owners responsibility to maintain the sidewalk, but don’t offer who the adjacent property owner is… There are no signs indicating where County maintenance ends, and property owner responsibility begins.

      How many County Departments (HCPD, HCDPW, HCR&P;, HCCommServices, etc.) does it take to manage, maintain and enhance safe, accessible sidewalks/pathways; to manage, maintain, and enhance (shared) bike lanes? How and when will Howard County be responsible AND accountable for caring for the capital pedestrian and bike lane facilities it already has??

      Thank you!
      Jo McLaughlin, Centennial

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