Baltimore County News
Michael L. Schneider, Community Outreach Liaison
Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks
The role of a Police Officer includes many responsibilities, extensive training and a huge capacity for learning. But who knew in Baltimore County that being a pal is among the police officer’s roles? Well, it’s not being a pal, as much as being with PAL, the Baltimore County Police Athletic League.
The officers actively associated with any of the nine PAL Centers throughout Baltimore County take on an important role in creating and maintaining strong and meaningful relationships with the PAL members, who range from eight to 17 years old.
This summer’s highlight was the PAL Olympics. Baltimore County Police Officers, Police Cadets, Police Explorers and numerous Fire Department members were thoroughly involved in the fun and competitive event. It was truly inspiring to see the interaction between our PAL members and these incredible public servants! You could see and feel the mutual respect and appreciation growing on the track, in the gymnasium and in the lunchroom. The Police and PAL dodge ball game was the epitome of demonstrating good sportsmanship and growing friendships.
Following are some day-to-day examples of the efforts of dedicated officers who have made working with these youngsters-in-need a regular part of their routines:
Officer Randy Stradling comes to Scotts Branch PAL to engage members both socially and athletically according to the PAL Coordinator Joan Ingram. “He is well known to our members,” Ms. Ingram shared, mentioning that the kids look forward to his bringing the occasional boxes of Popsicles to the center to share.
Over at the Dundalk PAL, Officer George Mussini is a regular visitor making himself available to the youngsters as a resource for assisting PAL members. Just for the fun of it, he’s been known to ticket PAL members for good behavior and positive choices with coupons for free Slurpees from the local 7/11 in cooperation with Operation Chill.
At Woodmoor PAL, Officer Thelia Jones and Officer Dreama Morgan focus on mentoring PAL kids with the goal of boosting their self-esteem. Officer Morgan even helps to serve the daily meals offered at the PAL Center.
At the Hillendale PAL Center, Officer Greg Suber has been offering his skills as a mentor and assisting in the area of conflict resolution among the middle schoolers and their families, not to mention his Ping Pong skills!
By playing and interacting on a social level, PAL Coordinators and officers take on important roles to help youngsters navigate through the issues of growing up. They teach crime prevention techniques, discuss current events involving law enforcement and, most impressively, one Police Officer was instrumental in getting a PAL member back into school.
We at Baltimore County Recreation and Parks are proud and appreciative of the incredible lengths our partners in caring, the Baltimore County Police Department, offer all the youngsters in our PAL program. It is a partnership that offers us all a proud future!
Waterfront Parks, Chautaugua 2015, Fatherhood Initiative
Topics include waterfront parks, Chautaugua 2015 at CCBC and the Fatherhood Initiative at the Young Parent Support Center in Essex.
Waterfront Parks – Baltimore County’s 200 miles of waterfront boasts 26 parks where you can access the water at no or low-cost. Take a peek!
Chautauqua 2015: Sporting Lives – CCBC’s Catonsville campus and the Maryland Humanities Council spotlight sports greats Wilma Rudolph, Babe Ruth and Jim Thorpe with free living history programs in July.
Fatherhood Initiative – The County offers helpful resources to Moms and Dads at the Young Parent Support Center in Essex. Find out about the services they provide.
To view streaming video of the show on the County website, select "Hello Baltimore County" on the left side of the page. Or, go directly to the Hello Baltimore County page at http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/videogallery/hello%20baltimore%20county.
In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25, in Baltimore County, at the following times:
Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m.
Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 9 p.m.
Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.
Thursdays: 1 p.m., 8 p.m.
Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m.
Sundays: 10 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m.
Interactive Sessions on Preventing Illegal Access to Tobacco
The Baltimore County Department of Health is inviting the public to attend one of four interactive sessions on illegal youth access to tobacco. The forums will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m., between June 4 and June 18 at four Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) branches.
Discussions are scheduled for:
- June 4, at the BCPL’s Cockeysville Branch, 9833 Greenside Drive, Cockeysville 21030
- June 9, at the BCPL’s Rosedale Branch, 6105 Kenwood Avenue, Rosedale 21237
- June 16, at the BCPL’s Woodlawn Branch, 1811 Woodlawn Drive, Woodlawn 21207
- June 18, at the BCPL’s Reisterstown Branch, 21 Cockeys Mill Road, Reisterstown 21136
Although it is against the law in Maryland to sell tobacco products to youth under the age of 18, retailers in the state routinely violate the law, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). Nearly all smokers in Maryland begin tobacco use when they are under the age of 18. Access to this deadly product often leads to a lifelong addiction to nicotine for youth. Over 50 percent of the retailers that were inspected in the County were in violation of selling tobacco products to minors in fiscal year 2014, according to a DHMH report.
“We welcome the public to join our efforts to help our youth live longer, healthier, tobacco-free lives,” said Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of Health and Human Services. “Come voice concerns, share ideas and learn about applying for a tobacco use prevention grant at one of our informal, interactive sessions.”
For additional information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Baltimore County Department of Health’s Tobacco Use Prevention Program at 410-887-3828.
Funding for these sessions is provided through the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Tobacco Enforcement Initiative to Support Synar Compliance Grant.