The Montgomery County Council’s Public Safety Committee and its Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee will meet jointly at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, for a worksession on safety in the 11 Red Line Metro stations that are located in the County. At 2:30 p.m., the Public Safety Committee will address an update on the Wheaton Public Safety Work Group’s report that examined crime concerns in that community.
The meetings, which will be in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville, will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be streamed through the County Web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov
Representatives of Montgomery County Police and the Metro Transit Police Department will be present for the discussion on safety in and around Metro stations. The two entities have concurrent jurisdiction over the one Metro line that runs through the County. Metro Transit Police have primary patrol responsibility on tracks, tunnels, trains and below ground platforms, stations and facilities. County police have primary patrol responsibilities for parking lots and surface platforms.
The busiest weekday stations in the County are the Shady Grove (13,870 boardings per weekday), Silver Spring (13,621) and Bethesda (10,888). The least busy is Forest Glen (2,448).
Among the issues that will be discussed are crime trends and the coordination of homeland security policing at Metro stations.
The Wheaton Public Safety Work Group was formed last year by the initiative of Councilmembers Hans Riemer and Nancy Navarro. The group was asked to examine resident concerns about crime and related safety issues.
The work group has developed a draft report of its findings, with 18 recommendations included. By summer, the Police Department will have a fully operational District Community Action Team. The Public Safety Committee will ask how the special unit could have an impact in Wheaton.
In a letter to Wheaton residents, businesses and consumers contained in the working group’s report, Ana van Balen, director of the Mid-County Regional Center; John Damskey, commander of the 4th District Police; and Joe Callaway, chief of operation for the Wheaton Urban District state, “Continued progress is needed as gaps still exist in efforts related to public safety and the perception of crime in Wheaton.”
The letter also states that the working group report “attempts to speak to those gaps.”
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