Sykesville police chief reports a drop in crime


An article in the Carroll County edition Tuesday should have said that the paving contract for Oklahoma Avenue in Sykesville went to A. G. Parrott Co. The Baltimore company offered the lower of two bids -- $25,172.94 -- for the job, which includes widening the road and paving the Maintenance Department parking lot. The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.

While areas surrounding the town posted increases in crime, Sykesville experienced a decrease, said the town Police Chief Wallace P. Mitchell. In spite of those statistics, residents are complaining of irritating vandalism.

Anita Huddleston, owner of a Main Street business, complained after vandals destroyed items on her porch. She attended last night's Town Council session to voice her concerns and those of neighbors.

"This crime does not have to happen," she said. "I have been checking and a lot of people have had substantial vandalism. Nobody is going to put any money into beautifying downtown, if this continues."

Chief Mitchell said his department planned a Neighborhood Watch training session at 7 p.m. tomorrow. He also plans classes on Crime Watch and Operation ID programs. Residents and business owners can request a free security check.

Mayor Lloyd Helt urged residents to report every incident to the town police. He said the incidents underline the need for full-time town police.

"I am seeing an element hanging out here that I haven't seen before," said Councilman Jonathan Herman.

Councilman Walter R. White said police should also patrol surrounding park areas.

In other business, the council awarded the widening and paving of Oklahoma Avenue to C. J. Miller Contractors of Hampstead. The contract includes $11,275 for paving the Maintenance Department's parking lot.

The contractor will widen Oklahoma Avenue -- by two feet on the Patapsco River side -- and repave it from Main Street to Schoolhouse Road at a cost of $22,514.

The council received only two bids for the work, but voted against further delay.

"We should award tonight," said Town Manager Jim Schumacher. "The bid is close to the amount budgeted, and it will be winter soon."

Mayor Helt said the mayor of Sykesville, Pa., would be visiting town tomorrow. He will be touring the Town House and the police station, which is under construction.

"We have a real good exchange going," said Mayor Helt, who had visited the Pennsylvania town of 1,500 residents last spring.

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