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Towson residents say they're glad for police reversal on local crime reports

Just last week, the crime report sent out to community members by Sgt. Stephen Fink of the Towson precinct was accompanied by a note that told of the temporary suspension of the report — a move ordered by his superiors.

But after that note was reported Feb. 21 by the Baltimore Sun, in a blog by reporter Peter Hermann, the Baltimore County Police Department announced that day that the decision had been reversed.

Pat France, co-chair of the Towson Area Citizens on Patrol, said she was happy to hear that the decision had been reversed.

When residents received the notice that the report would cease last week, France heard from several community members searching for an explanation as to why it was discontinued.

"It's very helpful information to us," she said. "I don't know why they did it either."

Hermann had reported that police said the emails stopped because officials were working on "consistent standards and practices."

But he reported later that Fink was again cleared to send out his reports.

Before the decision was reversed, John Kelly, chairman of the Loch Raven Village Citizens on Patrol, emailed the Towson Times to emphasize that the weekly reports were of interest to his community members.

"Information such as times, nature and general location of events helps us with patrol times, and alerts residents to things such as burglaries," he said in the email. "It's part of the effort to encourage residents to act upon the slogan, 'if you see something, say something."

After news of the reports' reinstatement became public, David Kosak, president of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations, said he and his organization have always been available to contact the precinct commander, Capt. Jonathan Trentzsch, or Fink for information when need be.

The department has a regular presence at their association meetings and other community gatherings, and despite the recent questions, Kosak anticipates open lines of communication between the precinct and community.

"As long as they continue to keep us abreast of what's going on, we're certainly behind them and will continue to be," Kosak said.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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