City Council meeting briefs

September 11, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

Senior housing security concerns are discussed

Hagerstown Councilwoman Penny May Nigh and Councilman N. Linn Hendershot said Tuesday the Hagerstown Housing Authority needs to increase security at public housing projects for senior citizens.

They made the comments during Tuesday's Hagerstown City Council work session.

Their remarks follow an incident last week in which a woman at Walnut Towers was robbed of her purse and the 84-year-old man who came to her aid was stabbed.

Nigh said she plans to attend a future meeting of the Hagerstown Housing Authority board to share her concerns about the need for more security.

Hendershot attended a Monday night meeting called by Hagers-town City Police and housing officials to discuss the recent outbreak of violent crime at the complex.


Hendershot said he heard the comment "I am afraid" about 40 times at Monday's meeting.

About 60 people attended that meeting.

Police may install cameras at substation

Hagerstown City Police Chief Arthur Smith told the Hagerstown City Council Tuesday his department is considering buying and installing cameras outside the Bethel Gardens substation.

The substation is on Murph Avenue in the Bethel Gardens housing complex off Jonathan Street.

The goal would be for the cameras to catch incriminating evidence of drug dealers as well as to serve as a deterrent to crime in the area, Smith said. Evidence caught on tape could be used in court against criminals, he said.

Members of his department have met with Frederick Police Department officials about that city's successful camera program, Smith said.

Smith promised the council he would not ask the city for money to help with the program. Instead he would get funding from the Hagerstown Housing Authority and other sources, he said.

Smith estimated the program would cost about $65,000 to $70,000.

The department will not install the cameras unless he has the support of the Bethel Gardens community to do so, he said.

If the program works, he would suggest cameras be placed elsewhere in the city, he said.

City staff to begin planning July 4th event

The Hagerstown City Council Tuesday gave city staff permission to start planning a July 4th event at Fairgrounds Park for 2003.

An estimated 15,000 people turned out for the fireworks at the park last year, Public Information Manager Karen Giffin said.

The City of Hagerstown sponsored the event.

Harvest Hoedown is scheduled for Oct. 12

The City of Hagerstown will host the Second Annual Harvest Hoedown from 1-4 p.m. Oct. 12 at Fairgrounds Park, Public Information Manager Karen Giffin told the Hagerstown City Council at Tuesday's meeting.

An estimated 1,500 people attended the event last year.

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