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Hagerstown anti-crime group distributes two brochures

July 29, 2002|by KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

Helping people know the right time and the right circumstances under which to call police is the goal of two brochures being circulated by members of the Broadway North Neighborhoods First group.

The community crime prevention and enhancement group printed two brochures, "Reporting Drug Activity in Your Neighborhood" and "Why Should I Call the Police?" that they will distribute to households in their neighborhood, said Lt. Margaret Kline of Hagerstown City Police.

The Broadway North group includes all of Broadway, North Avenue and portions of North Potomac, Mulberry and Locust streets.

The brochures are endorsed by the police department and provide a source for residents who want safer communities but need some guidelines, Kline said.

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Funded by the HotSpots Communities Initiative, the brochures will be placed on residents' doorknobs in conjunction with a notice for National Night Out festivities slated for Thursday.

The Broadway North Neighborhoods First and Bethel Gardens-Jonathan Street Neighborhoods First groups will be hosting a joint National Night Out program from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the 300 block of North Potomac Street, Kline said.

The event will include a performance by the Gateway Ministries Choir, light refreshments, and games and displays by Hagers-town City Police, Hagerstown Fire Department and Safety House, Washington County Health Department, Hagerstown's Neighborhoods First, Citizens on Patrol, Washington County Community Partnership for Children and Families and Washington County Wellness Challenge.

The National Night Out program encourages residents to leave their porch lights on and come outside and get to know their community, Kline said.

A booklet helping parents identify drugs will also be distributed at the event, she said.

The various brochures are a handy, helpful device that residents can keep by the phone so if they see something suspicious, they'll know what to do, Kline said.

The brochure "Why Should I Call Police?" advises people that they can call police by dialing 911 or the police department at 301-790-3700.

It provides 11 examples of suspicious behavior and explains how the calls are prioritized.

"High-priority calls consist of reports of crimes where lives may be endangered or in progress or those recently committed where there is a chance of apprehending the criminal," according to the brochure.

When calling police for emergencies, people should describe why they are calling, give their name, address and phone number and give a detailed description of the suspect or vehicle and the direction it fled.

The brochure "Reporting Drug Activity in Your Neighborhood" advises readers about what activity is commonly associated with drugs and how to report drug activity.

Police may ask why you think drugs are being sold and what types of drugs are involved. Officers will also want to know how long the activity has taken place and where.

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