Citizens on Patrol to honor crime-fighting trio June 15

What do these people have in common — the president of the Towson Precinct's Police and Community Relations Council, a Stoneleigh teenager who goes to Notre Dame Preparatory School and the Baltimore County chief of police?

Actually, a couple of things — they've each made it their business to combat crime in their community; and each will be honored for those efforts by the Towson Area Citizens on Patrol at next week's 12th annual Rally Against Crime, slated for Friday, June 15, at 6 p.m., in downtown Towson.

The annual event is designed to rally community support and awareness of the Citizens on Patrol movement, and also make residents more aware of the things they can do to combat crime in the area.

The event will feature speakers such as 5th District County Councilman David Marks, Dels. Bill Frank and Steve Lafferty and state Sen. Jim Brochin, and will be held along Allegheny Avenue near the Towson roundabout.

But the stars of the show are the three honorees, who TACOP members say represent a partnership of shared duty and responsibility to help keep residents safe.

Wesley Wood, who serves as director of Baltimore County Police and Community Relations Council-Towson Precinct, will receive TACOP's Recognition Award.

Wood, a resident of Towson since 1956, has been involved in the Police and Community Relations Council since 2002 and became director of the Towson Precinct's PCRC council in 2009, serving as a conduit between police and citizens. In addition, he's also active in his COP unit in Campus Hills, patrolling weekly and also coordinating daytime patrols.

"Wesley has been the glue that holds the ... council together," said Pat France, TACOP vice president.

Police Chief James Johnson will receive the Achievement Award — marking not only his service, but the fifth anniversary of his appointment to chief of police.

Mike Calwell, president of TACOP, said, "Chief Johnson has made a commitment to all Citizens on Patrol organizations and we are thrilled about our relationship with him and his staff."

In 2010, Johnson was also recognized by the Blue Guardians for his commitment to diversity, and last year he received the Trailblazer Award from the Baltimore County branch of the NAACP for his willingness to listen to concerns of the black community in the county.

Amy Williams, a senior at Notre Dame Prep who was Youth Ambassador for Stoneleigh Citizens on Patrol when she was just 6, will receive the Young Leader of the Year Award.

At age 10, Williams was named Youth Ambassador and Spokesperson for Towson Area Citizens on Patrol. She was in this position until age 13, and she often spoke at the National Night Out event, the annual rallies and at Mischief Night Prevention Patrol events.

When Williams became a freshman at Notre Dame Prep, she joined the NDP Partnership for Animal Welfare, organized volunteer days at animal shelters and asked her neighbors and friends to collect supplies.

"A leader her entire life, she is a model for us all," said Janice MacGregor Arcieri, TACOP secretary.

Immediately following the Rally Against Crime on June 15, the event dovetails into the weekly Feet on the Street block party hosted by the Towson Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to the block party, there will be public safety-themed events organized by Officer Kristy Fuka, COP liaison, such as opportunities for kids to climb into a fire truck and police car, and also meet the Baltimore County Police K9 unit.

Groups assisting with the event include the Towson Chamber of Commerce, TARGET, Midstate Community Bank and Wiltondale Improvement Association and residents and Boy Scout Troop 102.

The TACOP organization includes residents covering the areas of Aigburth Manor, Aigburth Vale Mansion Senior Community, Anneslie, Burkleigh Square, Campus Hills, Donnybrook Apartments, East Towson, Fellowship Forest, Glendale/Glenmont, Greenbrier, Hillendale, Hillendale Improvement Association, Idlewylde, Knettishall, Knollwood/Donnybrook, Loch Raven Heights, Loch Raven Village, Olde Hillendale, Overbrook, Ridgeleigh Community, Ridgely Condominium Association, Rodgers Forge, Stoneleigh, Towson Manor Village, West Towson and Wiltondale.

Members of TACOP help serve as the eyes and ears of police — but are trained in how to report crimes only, not engage suspects.

For more details on the Towson Area COP, call 410-828-5564.

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