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Some Noland Village residents see a need for security

September 01, 2003|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - The vast majority of Noland Village residents polled about the potential use of cameras in the housing development's common areas said they support the concept.

Many said they believe crime has increased in the area, especially in the last six months, and would like to see such a measure used as a deterrent.

"This summer has been really bad," said Brooke Rhodes, a two-year resident of Noland Village. "Lately, there's been a lot more violence. I think it'd probably help us in keeping the crime down."

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"Put 'em up everywhere," said Jim Pons, a city resident whose girlfriend lives in Court 7 of Noland Village.

Ella Russell, who has lived in Noland Village for three years, echoed the sentiment. Russell said the cameras, if coupled with other measures like a juvenile curfew, would reduce many of the neighborhood's problems.

"A lot of it is the juveniles," Russell said. "It's not just their fault - a lot of their parents just don't care."

Russell also said she fears that violence and gunplay in common areas where small children play will lead to a tragedy.

"There's too many little kids around here. One day, someone's going to fire a gun and hit a little kid."

Some residents of Court 1 suggested using cameras, like on Jonathan Street, in the wake of a July 20 melee that ended when one man fired multiple shots from a handgun. Most residents would not give their names, saying they feared retribution from those engaged in criminal activities.

Not everyone believes cameras should be monitoring the area. Several residents said they were not in favor of using cameras because it would make them uncomfortable on their own properties.

"They'll take away from the privacy of the neighborhood," said Crystal Taylor, a resident since March. "I don't like being watched."

Taylor also said she believed a lot of the people committing crimes in the area would continue to do so, even if they were monitored.

Some scoffed at the argument.

"Why is it an invasion of anyone's privacy?" said Judith Killen, a resident for six months. "It's not an invasion if they're out in the open. It'll cut down on a lot of the crime - the stabbings, the shootings, the break-ins."

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