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Community interaction highlights police year

(3/1) A look at the Thurmont Police Department Annual Report shows 2006 was a pretty busy year for the department. For instance, there were more than twice as many calls for service in 2006 over 2005.

According to Thurmont Police Chief Greg Eyler, the department had 3,680 calls for service in 2005. The annual report shows 8,373 calls in 2006.

“We had a lot more business checks and a lot more patrol checks, which probably added to that number,” Eyler said.

He said community policing efforts like that help cut down on crime and help the police officers and community become comfortable with one another.

Other programs the department instituted in 2006 included:

• Revitalization and growing of the Neighborhood Watch program
• PACE Car Program to help control speeding
• Community Assisted Radar Enforcement Program to help control speeding
• In Case of Emergency Program to help citizens get emergency help
• Bike patrol to allow officers to patrol in crowd situations such as Colorfest.

“The Neighborhood Watch has had one of the biggest impacts on the community and it is growing,” said Eyler.

Eyler said in the coming year, he wants to work on more speed enforcement and find better ways to deal with the number of juveniles involved in crime and drugs in the town.

Thurmont also developed an emergency operations plan, following a multi-agency emergency drill last fall. “Prior to the exercise, the Town of Thurmont did not have in place an Emergency Operations Plan. The first draft has been completed and reviewed. Future plans are to form a committee to finalize the plan to fit the needs of the Thurmont community,” the report notes.

Other changes include:

• Approval of the design and construction of a new police headquarters
• Purchase of three new vehicles with a new color scheme
• Changing of the department’s shoulder patch and chevrons
• Increase of the officers’ salaries to be more competitive

With all this activity, the department responded to 8,373 calls for service, ranging from a high of 899 in November 2006 to 167 in February 2006.

2006 Serious Crime Incidents for Thurmont Police

Robberies                   2
Aggravated assault      9
Burglary/B&E               20
Thefts                       49
MV Thefts                  5
TOTAL                       85

Source: 2006 Thurmont Police Annual Report

2006 Thurmont Police Parking Tickets

Tickets issued             182
Fines for tickets issued $2,210
Parking fines paid         $1,630
Collection rate             74 percent

Source: 2006 Thurmont Police Annual Report

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