Westminster police increasing patrols, partnering with agencies to tackle recent downtown crime

The Westminster Police Department is partnering with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland State Police to address concerns about drug activity and related crime, Westminster police announced Thursday.

The decision comes after two shootings in downtown Westminster in July, which police believe to be targeted and related to drugs.


Both incidents happened in the East Green Street area. The first incident occurred at about 9:10 p.m. July 25, when a motorist observed several shots being fired toward an individual who was running across East Green Street near Church Street.

At about 9:55 p.m. July 27, another shooting was reported, this one in the 100 block of East Green Street. In this case, several African-American men in dark clothing were observed running from the area following the shooting, and a local resident reported being robbed at gunpoint prior to the shooting.

“Additional police resources, both in uniform and plainclothes, have been assigned in an effort to reduce crime and bolster a sense of safety and security in the Westminster community,” according to a news release from the police department.

Several arrests have been made to date, and the effort is ongoing, according to the release.

Police Chief Jeff Spaulding said Thursday afternoon the arrests were not in relation to the shootings or armed robbery, but just general crime. With a heightened presence in a specific area, they are seeing any and all crime that might be occurring, he said.

Spaulding said there have been drug arrests, including two Wednesday night, that are a direct result of the increased presence.

As of Thursday, Spaulding said they had nothing new to report on the two shootings.

“We continue to very aggressively investigate any lead that comes in,” he said.

Crime in downtown Westminster has been a cause of concern for residents, who raised the issue at a recent Mayor and Common Council meeting on July 9.

The police department is requesting the public’s help and, according to the release, suspicious or criminal activity should be reported immediately by calling 911.

Citizens may call anonymously if they wish. Information may also be reported anonymously by contacting the TIPS line at 410-857-8477 or by text to 847411, keyword TIPWPD.

Anyone with information relating to the shootings is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Jeffrey Schuster of the Criminal Investigations Bureau by calling 410-848-4646.