Towson Area Citizens on Patrol, Inc

Crime Is Not Welcome In Towson

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Baltimore County’s 911 Center Tour

Citizens on Patrol to Tour Towson 911 Center

          On January 6, the Towson Area Citizens of Patrol (TACOP) will tour Baltimore County’s 911 Center to see firsthand how emergency 911 calls are handled and disbursed.  The tour is conducted by the Baltimore County Police to educate and inform TACOP volunteers, who patrol the streets of Towson neighborhoods to keep residents safe, about the function of the 911 Center. COP volunteers will discover what happens when they observe suspected criminal activity while on patrol and call 911 to report it. The tour is open to the public.

During the tour, TACOP volunteers will learn about the high volume of 911 calls received by the Center’s operators and will listen to actual emergency calls coming in.  They will understand why 911 call takers ask so many questions and learn how calls are filtered to the appropriate department.  Attendees will also witness actual emergency calls from the County’s 10 Precincts.

The 911 Center tour is open to the public, but anyone interested in attending needs to register with TACOP by calling Pat France at 410-828-5564 or emailing her at  by January 3. The tour begins at 7:00 PM, so attendees are asked to gather in the Baltimore County Circuit Courthouse lobby, located at 401 Bosley Avenue, by 6:45 PM.  Parking should be available on Chesapeake, Pennsylvania and Baltimore Avenues.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. No child under 7 may attend.  Cell phones are permitted in the Courthouse, provided that the device clears security. Possession and use of cell phones and other electronic devices may be limited or prohibited in designated areas of the Court facility.

TACOP is a 501c3 organization founded in 2000 to help Towson Area neighborhoods start COP programs and is solely supported by donations.

For more information, refer to

TACOP Contacts:    

Mike Calwell, President  (443) 829-5276

Pat France, Vice-President  410-828-5564

Janice Arcieri, Secretary  443-465-0150

Janet Eveleth, PR/Media  410-821-1008

Barbara Lewis, Website 410-663-4266

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Holiday Scams:

Fly-By-Night Web Merchants
Each holiday season features THE gift — an item so “hot” that many store shelves are quickly emptied, causing people to literally lose their minds in an effort to buy it. To exploit scarcity, scammers set up websites offering this product, as do dishonest online auction sellers. After raking in the money, the scammers shut down their “stores” and disappear. If you’re “lucky,” you are simply left with no gift item.
Phishing Scam
Run by someone who will use your credit card information to charge more products and services to your account and/or sell the information to identity thieves. In most cases, however, phishing scammers launch websites that look nearly identical to those of larger, reputable merchants — not unknown companies. Typically, you’re contacted by email with a tempting offer or
dire warning, and then directed to click on a link, which takes you to a fake website. Once there, you’re told to enter personal and financial information wanted by the thieves.
Charity Scams
Scammers may pose as representatives of charitable organizations that are real (or merely sound real). At this time of year, their emotionally-charged appeals are more likely to strike “pay dirt” with normally savvy people. You can be sure that other scams will soon be asking for donations to this cause and many others. The scams may involve nationally recognized charities aiding well-known causes, or local groups handling problems closer to home.
Gift Card Scams
Nearly every major retailer offers gift cards, many of which hang on racks at checkout counters.  Today, most cards are protected by scratch-off security codes and protective packaging to prevent information theft. If cards are not protected, however, scammers can write down the numbers while the cards are on display, and then call an 800 number to learn when the cards have been activated. After that, stealing is as simple as rushing to the merchant and making purchases before the REAL cardholder gets there.
Holiday E-Card Scams
You may receive an email from an unnamed “relative,” “neighbor,” or “friend” who has supposedly sent you an e-card that can be viewed by clicking on a link. Clicking on that link, however, may unleash anything from spyware and pop-up ads to viruses and Trojans. In some cases, nothing bad happens until you first download software from the e-card website. (The software is supposedly needed to “run” your e-card.) Sometimes, unwanted or malicious software is downloaded to your computer with your permission — after you agree to certain “fine-print” terms and conditions, usually without reading them.
Officer Bryan Dietsch #4859
Community Resources Section
CRT Homeland Security / Crime Prevention 
700 E. Joppa Rd.
Towson, MD 21286
410-887-5901 (Office line)
410-887-8733 (Direct Line)

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Citizen’s Academy Program

The 34th Citizens’ Academy Program has been scheduled for the Spring of 2015. The program consist of 16 sessions which includes 15 consecutive weekly evening classes (6:30- 9:30PM) and one Saturday class (9:00 AM- 3:00PM). The following dates and days of the week have been selected for the 34th Citizens’ Academy.

March 3, 2015 through June 9, 2015- Tuesday evenings

Saturday date is pending at this time.

The majority of the classroom sessions will be held at the Public Safety Building. Nomination forms will be accepted through February 10, 2015.Class size will be limited to a maximum of 50 attendees.

Information and application for electronic submission is located on the internet through the Baltimore County Government website at :

Attached is a copy of the Citizens’ Academy Flier and nomination form. Please recommend this program to citizens and/ or employees you feel may benefit from the training and experience.

Nomination Form and Flier

If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Officer Erika S. Dingle #5308
Youth and Community Resources Team
700 E. Joppa Rd
Towson, MD 21286
410-887-5901 (office)
410-887-8599 (direct line)

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Thefts From Auto Update

Once again I am getting the word out to all Communities in Towson to spread the word amongst the residents to lock up their vehicles when parked and secure all valuables please. Many of our communities, especially those along the County/City Line and in the York Rd and Loch Raven Blvd corridors are still experiencing a rash of thefts from vehicles. Our Officers are aggressively patrolling our neighborhoods, investigating these incidents and making arrests, recovering property.  In the past couple weeks we have made two arrests of two suspects, four people in all. Interviewing these Suspects they’re telling us they are breaking in to unlocked, unsecured vehicles and taking out those items of value readily available–GPS, cellphones, Ipods, Tablets, etc.
I know some folks are reporting forcible entry into their cars, some are talking of electronic devices capable of decoding electronic door locks and/or alarms but through our investigations we are not validating any of these statements. We do get the occasional broken window, flexed door but mostly still it is vehicles left unsecured, unlocked with valuables in plain view inside. We’ve not recovered any type of electronic device from any Suspect Arrested when searched incident to that Arrest. Our Detectives have no knowledge of these “electronic devices” being used. Almost every vehicle made today has some form of electronic entry thus using a “slim jim” (a thin straight metal bar) is an outdated, ineffective tool to open a car door–which is why our Officers no longer carry “slim jims” in our cars.
So please once again spread the word to your neighbors, friends, families to remove or secure all valuables within their vehicles and properly close, lock all vehicle windows and doors. Should anyone see anyone acting suspicious or secretive in their neighborhood please call 9-1-1 immediately so that our Officers can respond out and identify the person/s in question. Talking amongst yourselves about suspicious activity/persons is fine but if nobody is calling us when these people/activities are happening it is hard for us to identify those people and figure out if they’re connected with a later criminal act.
With the Holiday shopping season fast approaching this friendly reminder is timely too!
Thank You for continued cooperation and support!
Sgt Stephen Fink, 2815  PC06 COT 

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