(9/4) Though one of the smaller
municipalities in Frederick County,
Emmitsburg’s crime rate was higher than any
other town’s in the county except for New
Market and Frederick City.
The recently released “Crime in Maryland:
2007 Uniform Crime Report” shows that
Emmitsburg’s crime rate for 2007 is 3017.6,
the number of major crimes per 100,000
residents. By looking at the crime rate,
comparisons can be made between different size
towns and towns with changing populations.
Emmitsburg’s 2007 rate represents a 63-percent
increase over 2006 and a 138-percent increase
“It’s concerning, but given the reports
we’ve been hearing from the deputies lately,
it’s not surprising,” said Mayor James Hoover.
Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said
there has definitely been an increase in crime
in the county. Last year, in particular, there
was a series of copper thefts in the area that
added to Emmitsburg’s crime numbers.
“Any time there’s an increase in crime, I’m
concerned, especially if it’s in violent
crime, aggravated assault and theft,” Jenkins
Last year, larceny theft made up about 75
percent of the town’s 72 major crimes and the
trend seems to be continuing. Hoover believes
the sluggish economy has been a factor.
“More and more people are forced to do
things they don’t normally do and those that
would normally do it are doing it more often,”
Though crime rates can cause crime in
smaller communities to look worse than it is
because the rate has to inflate the population
of the smaller communities, the actual number
of crimes in Emmitsburg last year was still
high. The town had 72 major crimes, which puts
it on par with Thurmont and Walkersville, both
towns more than twice Emmitsburg’s size.
“We as citizens need to be looking out for
one another and calling 911 if we see
something. You can stay anonymous, but you
need to make the call,” he said.
Cpl. Jennifer Bailey with the FCSO agreed,
saying, “Many times citizens are our eyes and
ears with what’s going on.”
Thurmont, in contrast to Emmitsburg, has
been seeing a decreasing crime rate between
2004 and 2007 and at the same time maintaining
the highest clearance rate among police
agencies in the county.
Police Chief Greg Eyler said the two
factors work together because solving a case
acts as a deterrent to crime.
“What helps us is that more citizens are
getting involved with reporting crime and
helping us solve them,” Eyler said.
Thurmont’s crime rate of 1,264.0 is
significantly lower than Brunswick and
slightly higher than Walkersville, the two
Frederick County towns closest to the same
size as Thurmont. Overall, Thurmont has the
fourth-lowest crime rate in the county behind
Rosemont, Myersville and Walkersville.
“I believe we’ve been able to reduce crime
because we have an adequately sized police
force that is full time,” said Thurmont Mayor
Martin Burns. “That’s a significant deterrent
to crime that other towns with part-time
policing don’t have.”
Thurmont Police also closed half of the 77
major crimes the town had last year, which is
higher than other police agencies in the
“You certainly wouldn’t want to commit a
violent crime in Thurmont compared to some
other places,” Burns said.
Crime in Northern Frederick County (2004 -
Crime Rate (Crimes)
1817.3 (108) 1820.9 (110)
1420.8 (86) 1264.0 (77)
Emmitsburg 1268.9 (31)
1209.8 (29) 1852.6
(44) 3017.6 (72)
Source: 2005 & 2007 Crime in Maryland reports