Crime Spree Follow-up

2009 July 13
by Chuck Shotton

spencerWe have this nice gentleman to thank for our town’s excitement last Friday. While Mr. Spencer enjoys a relaxing visit to the Loudoun Co. jail, courtesy of the taxpayers, that’s not the final word on this issue, especially for us taxpayers.

It is a certainty that the Leesburg Town Council will address this issue at their work session tonight and at their regular meeting Tuesday night. What is also certain is that there will be lots of grandstanding and revisionist history. It’s important for concerned citizens to remember that there was significant opposition to foot patrols in Leesburg voiced by the mayor and other council members. I am sure that they will try to cover their tracks on this issue.

If the need for foot patrols downtown is important to you, I encourage you to attend one of these two meetings and voice your concerns and support on this issue. Now is not the time for political gamesmanship. The council needs to step up and direct the Leesburg Police to establish a very visible presence in the pedestrian areas of our town to discourage what seems to be a long string of copy-cat crimes aimed at an obviously vulnerable town with an understaffed police force and no officers on foot.

The council’s McNamara-esque attempts to use statistics and demographics to rationalize the distribution of police resources in Leesburg is no longer acceptable. This is not a luxury like a new swimming pool or some park benches to be noodled over for hours. Establishing a visible police presence downtown is a no-brainer, but apparently only a vocal show of force by the citizens is going to drive that point home. So I’ll see you Tuesday night!

4 Responses
  1. 12:05pm July 14 2009
    KurlyHairedB permalink

    There is an article in the Leesburg Today by Kara Clark, following up my earlier comment about the new Police patrol in downtown Leesburg. Here is the highlight:
    The CBO program will deploy police officers to five square miles of Leesburg, including downtown and parts of the Catoctin Circle business area. The program will run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and will provide a visible patrol in the core business areas. The initial plan, Price said, will mean the creation of a 90-day special overtime fund and detail with a price tag of $50,000. This money will provide enough funding for 80 hours per week for 12 weeks.

  2. 11:23pm July 13 2009
    KurlyHairedB permalink

    Just got back from the council work session meeting. We are getting downtown patrols, extending down to Catoctin Circle IMMEDIATELY. These officers are going to be foot patrol, in cruiser and also bike officers. They are going to be patrolling Monday thru Friday from 10 AM to 10 PM. Chief Price also explained why it took so long for the emergency alert to go out–lack of manpower to do it. Every officer/staff position/extra personnel was involved in attempting to track down and get information out to the police so they knew where to concentrate the search. Good explanation considering they didn’t know who and what they were after. They are going to work out a plan to try and provide the public, especially the areas where situations are happening, with better information in the future. Hope that it works. Scary to be a store owner and get 2nd and 3rd hand information and not know what is going on.

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