Baltimore County will not relocate a memorial for police officers killed in the line of duty that stands outside the Historic Courthouse in Downtown Towson as part of a redesign of Patriot Plaza, a county spokeswoman said Nov. 17.
In April 2015, the county announced its intention to redesign Patriot Plaza, which is located between the Historic Courthouse and the Baltimore County Circuit Court building. Officials initially said the project would cost $3 million, though that figure grew to $4.25 million as officials realized the cost of improvements and needed infrastructure fixes would be more than they had expected.
The plaza has been a headache to the county for years. Its fountain had to be turned off after it leaked into offices underneath. A major part of renovating the plaza will be removing the fountain and fixing the problems it caused.
In April 2016, county spokeswoman Ellen Kobler said that officials envisioned the new Patriot Plaza as an extension of the landscaped gardens on the other side of the Historic Courthouse, "with as much green space as possible."
This summer, after seeing a proposed plan for the redesign, Cole Weston, the president of the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 4, became concerned because, he said, the proposal called for moving the police memorial, which is located on a small hill at the south side of the plaza, to what he considered a less-prominent location near heating and air conditioning units by the Historic Courthouse.
In September, Weston sent a letter to County Executive Kevin Kamenetz expressing his opposition to the move.
When asked about plans for the redesign this week, Kobler said the memorial, as well as a nearby memorial for firefighting personnel, will not be moved.
"They will remain exactly where they are presently located," Kobler wrote an email Nov. 17, adding that officials have asked the project's designer to submit "alternate design proposals."
County officials do not have a timeline for the project's completion, Kobler said.
Weston said that police union's members will be pleased with the decision.
Baltimore Sun reporter Pam Wood contributed to this story.