In an effort to deter crime and gang activity, Howard County Police are stationing a mobile recreation center at different parts of the county this summer.
The mobile Community Athletic Program, developed by the department's youth division, consists of a traveling trailer filled with sports gear, games and video game equipment and is staffed by school resource officers and other youth services officers.
“Engaging with young people in a positive way is so important in our communities,” said Police Chief William McMahon. “Through this program, our officers can provide constructive activities and serve as role models in the neighborhoods we serve.”
According to a news release, the concept is for police to engage with youth in areas where young people congregate during the summer.
Funding for the CAP is supplemented by the Howard County Police Foundation, according to the release.
According to the release, "The CAP differs from the unstaffed open space and sports facilities throughout the county. It provides positive options for youth in their own neighborhoods – and in locations where crime tends to increase in the summer, including near shopping centers, apartment complexes, foot paths and tot lots – under the supervision of police and on a drop-in basis. The CAP’s prevention/intervention model targets middle- and high-school-aged youth who do not yet have transportation but are too old for traditional, supervised summer activities."
Police said the trailer visist a different neighborhood from 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. once a week throughout the summer. Below is the schedule for the program:
- Mondays: Talbott Springs Pool - 9660 Basket Ring Road, Columbia
- Tuesdays: Blandair Park - 5750 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia
- Wednesdays: Celebration Community Church - 6080 Foreland Garth, Columbia
- Thursdays: North Laurel Community Center - 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, Laurel
- Fridays: Wilde Lake Middle School - 10481 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia