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Crime increase prompts chief to hire additional officer


Shocked by the large increase in crime and the 34 percent increase in the number of calls for service from 3,933 in 1993 to 5,259 last year, Taneytown Chief of Police Mel Diggs said he will hire one additional officer this year to help combat the increase.

Much of the initial cost for the additional officer will be covered by a federal grant to the town as part of the 1994 crime bill.

Along with the increase in reported crimes, the number of arrests rose 14 percent, Chief Diggs said.

Police arrested 207 people last year in the small city with a population of about 4,500 in the northwest sector of Carroll County.

Chief Diggs said 45 burglaries were committed in 1994, compared with 36 the previous year, and 140 thefts were committed, one more than in 1993.

Assault and battery dropped from 86 in 1993 to 80 in 1994.

Three of 1994's assaults were on police officers.

The city had no homicides in the past two years, but one rape was reported in 1993 and 1994.

Malicious destruction of property rose from 73 in 1993 to 123 last year, an increase of 68 percent, the chief said.

The crime increase is attributed to a small number of offenders, some of them juveniles who are beyond parental control, Chief Diggs said.

Taneytown acquired a drug-sniffing dog in 1994 and had 31 drug-related incidents where the dog was used.

Some of those incidents were outside the city, the chief said.

Taneytown has five police officers supplemented by state police.

City officers handled 56 accidents within city limits and issued 868 traffic citations and 81 written warnings last year.

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