State to honor individuals, groups for fighting crime; County residents, workers to get governor's awards


Twenty-five crime fighters from Anne Arundel County will be honored tomorrow by the lieutenant governor at the 20th annual Governor's Crime Prevention Awards.

They will join 169 other Marylanders who will be honored at a luncheon in Baltimore for their efforts to prevent crime. Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend will present the awards.

"New partnerships between police and citizen crime-prevention efforts are key reasons why Maryland's crime rate continues to drop," Townsend said. "Our greatest victories against crime and the fear of crime are when police and community organizations come together to reclaim their neighborhoods."

Among those receiving awards from the county will be several Annapolis residents who organize the neighborhood watch program: Cecilia M. Gregory, Josephine Bowers Thoms, Sabine Turley, Anita G. Tyler, and Peggy and Robert VanGilder. They were nominated by the Annapolis Police Department.

"All of our information comes from the community, and these people are our eyes and ears," said Officer Hal Dalton of the city police.

Tori Hall, who was also nominated by the Annapolis Police Department, is being honored for identifying a robbery suspect. In April, the gift store where she works was robbed. Hall recognized the suspect as someone she went to school with and took a copy of her yearbook to police.

Officer Eric E. Crane, who was honored this year at the 42nd annual Baltimore Sun Police Officer of the Year award ceremony, will also receive an award. Crane, 33, a patrolman who won The Sun's community service award for his work with at-risk youths, has been with the department for four years. He moved to Annapolis after beginning his law enforcement career with the Capitol Police.

"He does everything," Dalton said. "He has adopted a school and spends one day a month at Germantown Elementary School."

Joseph V. Cifala and Donald C. Legge were nominated by the county Police Department for furthering crime-prevention programs in the county.

Also receiving awards will be 12 members of the Naval Air Station: John Bean, George Rolfe, Thomas Ballowe, Norma Bradbury, Steve Lee, Jay Page, Larry Samilton, Marc Shulbrooks, Shirley Thomas, Susie Tippett, Joe Martin and Jim McCoy.

The Annapolis Police Department's Parole neighborhood watch program also will be honored at the ceremony. The program started with eight members and now has more than 500. Police credit the program with shutting down open-air drug dealing in the community.

The senior liaison program and the Northern District Bike Patrol Unit of the Anne Arundel County Police Department will also be honored. The bicycle unit has helped decrease crime on the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail.

"Those honored are responsible for better, safer communities," said Stuart O. Simms, secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

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