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From the Desk of Carroll Valley Mayor Ron

(3/2102) Mother Nature has been kind to us this winter. At the time of this writing, we have only experienced two light snow events. In eleven days, on March 11th we will be springing forward by setting our clocks forward by one hour to change to Daylight Saving Time. And, on March 20th we will celebrate the first day of Spring, a time when days and nights are of equal length.

On the evening of March 1, 2012 Matthew Benjamin was awarded the Boy Scout Eagle Rank at the Memorial Baptist Church in Gettysburg with Fairfield Troop 76. He started his journey in scouting in August 2009 and met his goal in just over two and half years. He completed his Eagle project by building a much needed loft for storage at the Adams County Christian Academy in Gettysburg. Matthew is Junior and honor student at the Adams County Christian Academy and his ambitions is to become a commissioned officer in the United States Army. He is currently applying for an appointment at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

We all should be aware of changes in the law that may affect us. On March 8th, Pennsylvania will be the 31st state to give the police the authority to pull over and cite a motorist for texting while driving a vehicle. Violation carries a $50 fine. Since we are just a few miles from the Maryland border, you should be aware that text messaging is prohibited for all drivers. Maryland also has a ban on the use of handheld cell phone while driving. In Pennsylvania, Act 81 of 2011 has been updated. Act 81 has been reported to be the most comprehensive update to the Graduated Driverís Licensing Law since 1999 and seeks to reduce distractions caused by teen passengers, expands behind-the-wheel training for permit holders, and makes sure that minors are buckled up. Behind-the-wheel supervision of learnerís permit holders under 18 years of age has been increased from 50 to 65 hours. The first six months after receiving a junior driverís license, the junior driver is not permitted to have more than one passenger under 18 who is not an immediate family member unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. After six months, if the junior driver has had no reportable crashes or traffic violations, the restriction changes to three passengers under the age of 18. A reportable crash is one in which an injury or fatality occurs or at least one of the vehicles involved requires towing from the scene.

The Carroll Valley Police Department under the command of Chief Police Richard L. Hileman reported to Carroll Valley Borough Council that the Department responded to 2076 calls for service, a 4.4% increase over 2010. Calls for service are incidents requiring a police response and do not include vehicle stops or other routine duties. The 2076 calls for service resulted in 248 Uniform Crime Reports or UCRs. A UCR is crime as defined by the FBI and categorized into Part 1 and Part 2 Offenses. Part 1 are homicide, forcible rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft and arson and Part 2 are everything else except traffic offenses like stop signs or speeding. Part 1 offenses decreased about 13% and Part 2 increased 22%. Ignoring seasonal ski thefts, overall crime decreased 24% overall to near 2008 levels. The Police Department cleared (solved by arrest or other means) 45% of the Part 1 crimes. The rate goes up to 54% if the equipment thefts at the resort are removed. The state averaged just 30.3% cleared in 2010 (most recent statewide figures available). 71.4% Part 2 crimes were cleared compared to 60.7% state-wide. Both represent an increase in the percentage of crimes Carroll Valley Police are solving. The state-wide rural crime rate for 2010 was 18.3 Part 1 and 41.1 Part 2 per 1,000 residents. Our 2011 Part 1 crime rate (serious crimes) was about 15% more and Part 2 was 26% less, at 21.6 and 30.2 per 1,000 respectively. Police issued 608 traffic, non-traffic and ordinance citations in 2011 including 317 for speeding, 254 for other traffic, 8 for ordinances and 29 for criminal violations. August 2011 marked the sixth annual National Night Out observance in Carroll Valley. More than 30 community groups, organizations and individuals presented and more than 230 citizens attended. More than 70 children received child ID kits. Our officers also participate in numerous Adams County DUI task force roving patrols and local checkpoints. All task force patrols were funded by state grant monies. Carroll Valley Police arrested 56 impaired operators in 2011. Of these, 16 operators with only alcohol had blood alcohols of twice the legal limit or more, 9 were under the influence of drugs, 4 were persons under 21 driving impaired. We all can be proud of the service provided by our Carroll Valley Police Department.

The Blue and Gold Banquet of Cub Scout Pack 76 will be held at the Fairfield Fire Hall on Sunday, March 4th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Eighteen Annual Fairfield Fire and EMS Awards Banquet is scheduled to be held on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at the banquet room of the Fairfield Fire Hall. The Carroll Valley Citizens Association is holding their dinner meeting on March 16th. The Borough will be holding the following meetings in March: Planning Commission (Mon-Mar 5th); Public Safety Committee (Mon-Mar 12th); Borough Council (Tues-Mar 13th); and Parks and Recreation Committee (Wed-Mar 28th). If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me by email at mayor@carrollvalley.org or by cell at (301) 606-2021. Please slow down while driving in the Valley!

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