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Aberdeen set to approve its participation in joint SWAT team

Aberdeen's city council introduced its version of the bill that would create a joint SWAT team with police in Bel Air and Havre de Grace.

If approved, the bill, which was introduced at the Aberdeen City County meeting Oct. 28, would make Aberdeen the last municipality to agree to be part of the special weapons and tactics team.

Havre de Grace's city council adopted a resolution in July allowing its police force to form the joint team, while Bel Air town commissioners approved it in September.

Aberdeen's police department said earlier this summer that the multijurisdictional SWAT team would allow each city's department to take advantage of the skills of "highly trained individuals."

The council said an actual copy of the agreement would be made available after the bill is approved. Public input will be taken after the agreement is signed.

New TVs, upcoming holidays

The city's council chambers had two flat-screen TVs above the dais that were almost ready to be put into action.

Mayor Mike Bennett said the new TVs, as well as a new projector, are part of an audiovisual upgrade that will allow the agenda for council meetings to be displayed electronically, among other things.

"We're quite excited about that," Bennett said. "Hopefully during the meeting, you're not going to have your paper agenda. Your agenda is going to be up on the screen and we'll still have other paperwork available."

"That's one less pile of papers that we'll have to take a tree down for," he noted.

In Festival Park, the city is getting ready to move flagpoles into the area just right of the pavilion for a Sept. 11 memorial that Bennett said will be the first in Harford County.

"It's going to be a very exciting, very nice memorial that I think everyone in Harford County can be very proud of," he said. "Everything will be totally finished by springtime."

Bennett announced that the annual Christmas Street celebration, set for Dec. 7, will be called "Christmas Dreams" and will feature breakfast with Santa at Grace United Methodist Church as well as a Christmas craft fair.

The Aberdeen Room Museum will be open and the event will feature nativity scene displays, street entertainment and a winter decorating contest.

Lighting ceremonies will also be held at Festival Park, as Bennett said the public works department has been working on getting the electricity in place and the park has been under heavy construction recently to make that happen.

"We're looking forward to turning that into the winter wonderland," Bennett said.

Police Chief Henry Trabert said the police department would launch its holiday toy and food drive Nov. 1. Non-perishable food items and new toy donations can be dropped off at the police department to benefit Grove Presbyterian Church Deacons Cupboard and the USMC Toys for Tots Harford County detachment.

"We helped out a lot of families last year and we want to do the same this year," he said.

Route 40 work

City Manager Doug Miller said a $1.7 million state project on Route 40 will physically separate the access roads and Route 40, as well as patch, repair and resurface the road, create a new median, make drainage improvements and relocate water lines.

The project is slated to continue until the summer of 2014.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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