One of the busiest and most densely populated areas in Baltimore County is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous as well. Towson is the county seat or capital of Maryland’s third largest county, and is home to over 55,000 residents. The population is on the steady incline, and new residential development projects promise to bring a dramatic population increase over the next decade. Towson is typically regarded as a low crime area, and although the thousands of college students studying at Towson University and Goucher College can cause a little trouble from time to time, most of the crime in the area is limited to minor drug and alcohol offenses. But recent figures released by the Baltimore County Police suggest that violent crime may be rearing its ugly head in the area.
There are no incorporated cities in Baltimore County, and as a result the county police and sheriff are responsible for all law enforcement duties. While towns such as White Marsh, Essex, Pikesville, and Towson do not have their own police departments, the county police force is divided into 12 precincts, and each precinct records and reports their respective crime statistics. Just last week the Towson precinct reported that violent crime was up 6 percent over the first 9 months of 2013, and aggravated assaults were up a considerable 13 percent. While the violent crime numbers are still low compared to neighboring Baltimore City, there is still a cause for concern among residents and government officials. Families and young adults living in the area have traditionally not thought twice about strolling the area at night, but the recent uptick in robberies is changing this perception. In addition, pending residential and commercial development projects are slated to bring millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs to the county, and the last thing the government wants is for the investors to think twice about where to put their dollars.
The county government has already taken action to curb the recent rise in violent crime by adding three new patrol units to the Towson precinct. New residential and commercial developments are also likely to necessitate an increase in private security jobs, similar to the Harbor East security and community assistance force in downtown Baltimore. Residents are also taking action by forming citizens on patrol groups and urging local businesses to keep a watch out for potential criminal activity. There are currently over $500 million worth of development projects in the works in the Towson area, and most people are of the opinion that there is way too much money on the line to let it be ruined by rising crime rates. The county police and the rest of the government will work closely with developers over the next few years to reverse the recent trend and keep the community safe. Residents and visitors should expect to see more cops out on the street, better lighting in the downtown area and beyond, and more private security guards. Perhaps even police and security patrolling on Segways as they do in the newer downtown Baltimore developments. The population increase will present its challenges, but there is every reason to believe that the development of Towson will be a success, and violent crime will eventually level off or decrease.
Benjamin Herbst is a Maryland assault lawyer, who handles all violent crimes cases in state and federal court. Contact Benjamin for a free consultation about your case.