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Desk duty cops help crime crackdown

August 28, 2000

Desk duty cops help crime crackdown



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer


Hagerstown City Police administrative officers who normally work at desks have hit the streets as part of an ongoing effort to crack down on crime in the city.

They will help regular patrol officers combat a recent influx of crime in the area of Mulberry and Washington streets, said Captain Charles Summers of the Hagerstown City Police Department.

"We call it housecleaning," he said.

On Friday, 23 officers from city police, Maryland State Police, Washington County Sheriff's Department, the Hagerstown Street Crimes Unit and Washington County Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Task Force participated in the first of many such crime crackdowns, he said.

City officers who normally work daytime hours handling administrative duties switched their schedules to work 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. and were involved in drug arrests, executing warrants and traffic enforcement.

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With three drug arrests, 40 traffic citations and six warrants executed by the end of the night, Summers said he believed the effort was a success.

Since the officers altered their daytime schedules no overtime was needed, he said.

More "housecleaning" dates have been set and police will vary the days and times, said Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith.

Future efforts will focus on prostitution and "quality of life" offenses such as public urination and littering.

"We'll be hitting areas where there have been a lot of complaints and problems," Smith said.

Smith said that while he was on the police force in Baltimore, the police department often used such means to get as many officers on the street as possible.

As part of the effort Friday, undercover police arrested two men on drug charges.

Police apprehended Michael Howard Baltimore, 27, of 599 N. Prospect St., Hagerstown, after a drug sale was arranged for an undercover officer in the 100 block of North Street at 11 p.m., police alleged.

Baltimore was charged with distribution of drugs, possession with intent to distribute drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Kirk Dwayne Jones, 42, of 803 Pennsylvania Ave., Hagerstown, was charged with two counts of distribution of fake drugs after $30 in fake crack cocaine was sold to an undercover officer in the first block of Church Street at 8:13 p.m., police said.

Baltimore and Jones were being held on $65,000 bond each at the Washington County Detention Center Monday evening.

Police conducted traffic enforcement from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on East Franklin St. near the Otterbein United Methodist Church.

A section of East Franklin Street was reduced to one lane to slow drivers and give police a chance to check on whether people were wearing their seat belts, vehicles were up to regulation and drivers were sober, said Smith.

Of the 40 citations written, 29 were for seat belt violations and three for driving while intoxicated.

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