Pat France

Pat France, vice president of Towson Area Citizens on Patrol, cruises around Towson in January. TACOP will hold its annual rally against crime on Friday, June. 20. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun / January 14, 2014)

Retiring Del. Bill Frank, a Rodgers Forge resident, John Falconer, and others from Rodgers Forge will be honored before Towson Area Citizens on Patrol's annual Rally Against Crime.

The rally will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, June 20, just before the weekly Feet on the Street block party on Allegheny Avenue between Washington Avenue and the Towson roundabout.

Pat France, TACOP's vice president, said the rally is being held to send out the message that "crime is not welcome in Towson." Citizens, officials and business leaders will gather to show their support for TACOP, which works in partnership with the police and 25 local neighborhoods.

France said honoree Frank is a "very special guy."

"We just want to recognize him. He's been a great guy and a great supporter of Citizens on Patrol," said France. "He's always there for us."

Also being recognized are Falconer and members of Rodgers Forge Next Door and Rodgers Forge Citizens on Patrol.

"In the wintertime, when we had those terrible cold nights, [the Rodgers Forge residents] went around and collected blankets and food for the homeless people right here in Towson," France said. "They plan on doing it again next year."

France said she expects the annual rally to draw "a couple hundred people" who will stay for the weekly block party.

"The theme [of the rally] is typically the same every year, and it's to call attention to people who have made a difference in crime prevention around Precinct 6," said Mike Calwell, the group's president.

But it's a unique time for Calwell's group, particularly in the wake of a spike in armed robberies in the Towson area, including one involving a Towson University student who was stabbed by assailants who demanded his cellphone.

Calwell and France say the member COP groups have stepped up patrols and that new groups are forming in neighborhoods like Towson Manor Village and Aigburth Manor. The nascent downtown Towson COP group is also patrolling the active core.

"It's always very hard to get volunteers — always. It takes a crime to get people interested in going out there and giving their time. But there's another thing for people to remember. It's that everybody is a citizen on patrol," France said. "When you see something suspect, just pick up the phone and call 911."

In addition to the awards, the rally will include Capt. Dee-Fense; a Boy Scouts of America color guard; and remarks by dignitaries, including Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson. Kids will be able to climb a fire truck and get inside a police car and race car. The Feet on the Street Party, featuring the cover band Mister Wilson, starts immediately following the rally.

In the event of rain, the rally will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 120 Allegheny Ave.