More money would fund HotSpots programs

September 01, 1999

Empty homeBy KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer

With funding secured for the third year of the HotSpots initiative in Hagerstown, community leaders are looking for additional money to enhance its programs.

In August, Hagerstown was awarded more than $100,000 to target small, high-crime neighborhoods with a comprehensive attack combining police, community groups, parole and probation agents and after-school programs, HotSpots Coordinator Carolyn Brooks said Wednesday.

During a public meeting Wednesday evening at the Frostburg State University Community Center on West Washington Street, Brooks explained that extra money is available for such areas as:


* Community Prosecution, in which the state's attorney's office would provide a more "proactive" role in eliminating and fighting crime in the HotSpots area by forming partnerships with police and local businesses.

* Community Juvenile Intervention, in which juvenile justice officials would work closely with police and local leaders to intervene earlier in the lives of at-risk youths.

* Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, which involves the placement of lighting and landscaping design to deter criminals from lingering at a location.

* Community Victim Outreach and Assistance, for improvement of staffing and technology at the state's attorney's office if needed.

* Housing and Business Revitalization, the goals of which are to improve housing and building conditions to raise property values and deter crime.

"The enhancements will give us the opportunity to do more programs and planning to address other areas of the HotSpot," said Charles Messmer, volunteer lead coordinator for the Hagerstown HotSpots program.

Another aspect of the enhancements would make "fringe" sections in the West End officially part of the HotSpots geographic area, which now is Prospect Avenue to Memorial Avenue and is bounded on the east and west by Prospect and Mulberry streets.

The fringe areas include High, Church, Alexander, Winter and Franklin streets, Norway Avenue, and Burhans Boulevard.

Based on what the community wants, Brooks said she can apply for as few as one or for all of the enhancements.

A tentative public meeting is scheduled for Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Frostburg University Center to finalize plans for the grant application.

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