City ready to dicker on used metal detectors; Security devices left over from old housing projects


He doesn't adopt the flashy style of a used car salesman, but Baltimore Housing Commissioner Daniel P. Henson III is ready to deal.

For sale: 17 used metal detectors from the old Margate Court, Lexington Terrace and Murphy Homes public housing communities,which have been torn down or are scheduled for demolition.

"This should actually be a classified ad," Henson said yesterday at his monthly news conference. "But we don't have the money to do that."

So the commissioner appealed to the media to plug the items.

Henson said the housing authority paid $3,000 each for the metal detectors but that he's willing to accept any reasonable offers.

The housing authority purchased the metal detectors in the mid-1990s, when the three public housing communities were among the most dangerous areas in Baltimore, a city that has one of the nation's highest homicide rates.

"We put in metal detectors, which, I should point out, significantly reduced crime," Henson said with a smile. "You can take them, put them in your back yard."

The housing commissioner isn't just looking to bring in money.

"We're very proud of being able to get rid of what we thought was a symbol of places where we had the worst crime in the city," Henson said.

Pub Date: 3/27/99

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