Annapolis police officers to be assigned to community beat


The Annapolis Police Department is changing the way it patrols the city, assigning officers to long-term community beats rather than rotating them among neighborhoods.

The new plan, which starts this month, allows patrol units to work much the same way the city's community policing units already operate, Capt. John W. Wright said this week. Annapolis is following the lead of cities such as Baltimore, which have restructured their patrol forces to foster better neighborhood relations, he said.

The plan also redraws the city's patrol posts to better target crime-ridden areas, Captain Wright said.

"Before, we'd have 300 calls but they all were dog bites, while another post had 200 calls and they all were breaking and entering," he said. The new system, which reduces the number of patrol posts from seven to six, allows officers to better handle the more serious 911 calls, he said.

Ruling on benefits to be reconsidered

An Annapolis man who was fired from the police force in 1992 must take his fight for unemployment benefits back to the state agency that initially approved them, according to an order signed by a Circuit Court judge yesterday.

Keith L. Brown, 33, was fired from his $25,700-a-year job Dec. 17, 1992, after a police trial board found that he lied in a report submitted to superiors on how he and fellow officers responded to a disturbance at the Cook-Pinkney American Legion Post nine months earlier.

The officer appealed the city's denial of unemployment benefits to the Department of Economic and Employment Development, which ruled that the officer was entitled to up to $223 a week in benefits.

But Judge Eugene M. Lerner yesterday signed a consent order requiring the agency's board of appeals to reconsider that decision.

The judge signed the order after City Attorney Paul Goetzke argued that the initial decision ignored the trial board's finding that the officer had lied to superiors.

Lothian home burglarized

Thieves who broke in the backdoor of a Lothian home Monday ransacked it and stole a microwave oven and a videocassette recorder, county police said.

Delores Harley, 52, who lives in the house, told police the theft occurred between 7 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The culprits also cut the phone lines as they went from room to room tearing up the house.

A neighbor told police he saw a blue and white Chevrolet truck parked near Ms. Harley's home between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

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