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Agency will maintain community policing efforts

June 11, 1998

Hagerstown City Police are incorporating a community policing effort throughout the department, police officials told the mayor and City Council on Tuesday.

The community policing unit was disbanded this spring as the department restructured some positions, creating a clearer line of authority.

But the approach of getting to know the neighbors and business people in an officer's patrol area isn't going to be eliminated, police officials said.

The department has patrol officers who are regularly assigned to eight areas - the North End, West End, East End, South End, the city's core, the downtown area, the North Jonathan Street area and public housing neighborhoods, police said.

The department is trying to make sure that when a sector patrol officer has the day off, the same backup officer works in that neighborhood to provide consistency, said Lt. Charles Summers.

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If a neighborhood's patrol officer becomes overwhelmed with complaints, the street crime unit can move in to help, said Capt. Robert Voytko.

For example, the street crime unit helped curb graffiti in City Park, he said.

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