Several dozen people gathered at Arbutus United Methodist Church on Sept. 30 at a meeting organized by Arbutus Improvement Association to discuss crime and other problems that affect the quality of life in the community.
After words by Delegates James Malone and Steve DeBoy, Officer Tom Wareheim of Precinct1/Wilkens presented data on crime trends in the community—most of which had declined from the previous year, except for certain categories such as theft from automobiles.
Wareheim discussed ways that some crimes against property can be prevented, and encouraged those in attendance to sign up for free home security inspections provided by Baltimore County Police Department.
Capt. John Spiroff, commander of Precinct 1/Wilkens, answered questions about policing and crime prevention, and Pete Kriscumas, legislative aide to Councilman Tom Quirk, spent a great deal of time discussing chronic problems such as parking issues and rats.
Other issues that came up at the meeting included disruptions from athletic activities at area schools, rowdy UMBC students who live off-campus, grafftiti and vandalism.
"I thought it was very productive," said Nikki Marlatt-Young, President of Arbutus Improvement Association. "It was very exciting to have such a great turnout. I just hope that people will come back, because we will continue to talk about these issues."
The meeting was met with a positive response from members of the community that attended.
"It was absolutely wonderful," said Lorna Rudnikas, President of Wilkens Police Community Relations Organization. "People are interested and looking for answers, and they're getting answers."
"I hope it will be effective in resolving some of these issues that have been boiling over for years," said Mark Humpheys, who lives on the 5400 block of Highridge St. and has issues with neighbors. "I hope things can get solved. They can get solved, but nobody's ever done anything."