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Keyword: baltimore county police

by Louise Rogers-Feher, Baltimore County Police, Public Safety Information Specialist

More than 100 kids had a great time running, shooting hoops and sharpening their basketball skills at the Baltimore County Police Department’s back to school basketball clinic in Halethorpe. Whether they knew it or not, they were also learning about leadership, teamwork and gaining a positive perspective on our men and women in blue.

“Now, more than ever, it is important for kids to have the chance to interact with law enforcement officers in a positive setting and to see them as role models,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

The clinics are part of Kamenetz’s “Operation Connect” initiative, an ongoing effort to engage County stakeholders in outreach activities. Members of the police department are reaching out through activities like Bike with a Cop, community cleanups, meetings with faith-based leaders, participation in community barbecues and many other events. The purpose of the program is to allow community members, particularly young people, to interact with police officers in a positive setting. “Both our police officers and our communities are safer when officers and residents know and trust each another,” said Kamenetz.

Baltimore County Police Colonel Al Jones is no stranger to the court. He has played and coached basketball and saw the potential to connect young people with officers to have fun and learn some life lessons on the courts. "Teaching and mentoring kids while they are young can help them in the future when making the tough decisions,” Jones said.

The back to school basketball clinic was co-hosted by Leadership through Athletics (LTA) as a follow-up to a very well received clinic last spring. “The clinics were rewarding for the kids, the cops and the community,” said Kirk Krikstan, LTA’s General Manager.

Officer Kim Hicks-Wright with the Police Department’s Community Outreach Team said the officers are enthusiastically anticipating more clinics in 2018.

“Our men and women look forward to the interaction with young people in the county through these activities,” said Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan. “Teaching leadership, teamwork and trust are positive life lessons.”

By Louise Rogers, Baltimore County Police Department

Thousands of goods are bought and sold without incident each year on Craigslist, neighborhood online yard sales and other online commerce sites. Still, not all people using these resources are on the “up and up.” The Baltimore County Police Department reminds citizens to exercise caution when meeting someone to complete an online transaction.

Police agencies across Maryland and the country have documented theft, robbery and, in a rare case, murder, involving meetings to complete online transactions. The suspects place bogus ads in an attempt to catch unsuspecting victims.

Tips for a Safe Transaction

Baltimore County Police Department provides the following tips to help you stay safe:

  • Do not assume the person you’re meeting is a friend. He or she may seem harmless, but you do not know this person. Don’t let your guard down when exchanging goods and money.
  • Never meet anyone at your home or workplace. You don’t know this person.
  • Insist on meeting at a well-lit, busy place. BCoPD suggests that buyers and sellers meet on the parking lot of one of our police stations. Walk inside the station before the meeting and tell the officer on duty about the planned transaction. 

Our police stations and officers are there to protect people who want to make exchanges of all types. It can be a Craigslist exchange or separated parents seeking a safe place to pick up and drop off children.

Before you meet

  • Gather as much information as possible about the buyer/seller including, but not limited to, telephone numbers, identifying numbers or avatars provided by the service. 
  • Use cash or a secured/proxy form of payment such as PayPal. We discourage use of credit or debit cards because both expose you to identity theft. Avoid displaying large amounts of cash; this attracts predators to the transaction.
  • Keep your personal details to yourself. Don’t give your address, date of birth or the names of family members to the other person in the transaction.
  • Bring a cellphone and, if possible, another person with you. If you have to go alone, let other people know where you are going and what time you will be there. 

Finally, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, cancel the deal. 

Revised September 11, 2017