By Barbie Klik and David Nyweide
MRIA’s newly revamped Safety Committee, including representatives from the Midtown Benefits District, Prince Hall Grand Lodge, and the Lyric as well as Bolton Hill neighbors, has already been hard at work.
At their first meeting in late February, the committee reviewed several programs in need of support, and formed subcommittees to address these needs.
- Court Watch, led by Carol Bickford and Jim Prost, will ensure community presence in court for serious cases.
- Lighting and Crime Stats will be led by Ron Gray and Maria Wawer.
- Personal Safety Seminars will be led by Rich Dunfee and Michelle Wirzberger and organized in partnership with MICA, police department, and Midtown.
- Video Cameras, led by Linda Stirling, John Heltman and Patrick Francis, will create a camera survey and map to document which areas of the neighborhood are covered by private cameras.
The Lighting & Crime Stats subcommittee will work with the City to improve lighting based on the lighting survey that was completed last yea. They will also launch a neighborhood lighting program with incentives for people to light the fronts of their homes.
In March, a group of neighborhood volunteers led by David Nyweide trimmed trees on selected streets throughout Bolton Hill. With support from both the Midtown Benefits District and Baltimore City, the group focused on trees identified in the lighting survey to improve nighttime lighting just in time for spring leafing.
As for Crime Stats, Major Jones reported at the March Board Meeting that there had been a total of 20 crime incidents this year in the the first two months vs 23 last year for the same period. Bolton Hill is part of the Central District, which is one of two city districts to see a reduction in overall crime recently.
The subcommittee reviewed the last 5 months of crime stats in our police post, which includes Bolton Hill and small sections of Reservoir Hill and Madison Park. Overall, they saw a dramatic decline in violent crimes over the last 8 weeks, as shown the graph below.
The Bulletin will continue to publish updates, including crime stat reports. from these subcommittees as each group evaluates and organizes efforts in these areas.
MRIA’s Safety Committee meets regularly on the last Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend and get involved. Meetings are held in different locations from month to month—see their event listing on the Bulletin calendar for more information.