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As we move into Fall, the 2nd District officers will be making a big push to keep drivers focused on the road. Traffic congestion is a big problem and while we cannot do much about the volume, we can certainly do something about crash prevention. We are trying to get smarter about where we apply our resources. We have identified the top 12 crash locations in the District. Intersections along Rockville Pike/Wisconsin Ave., Old Georgetown Rd., Connecticut Ave. and River Rd. are all on the list. It is no surprise that distracted driving is one of the biggest offenses contributing to these crashes. I have attached a brochure outlining the cell phone laws in the state of MD. To be fair, I am telling you up front that we will be conducting several cell phone enforcement operations in the near future. We already did two along River Rd. and issued over fifty citations/warnings at each in a short amount of time. Preventing crashes is one of the best things we can do for public safety!!
Recently, a highly valued member of our community lost his life in a very tragic cycling crash. The laws are designed for cyclists and cars to share the roads, but there continues to be offenders on both sides that pick and choose the laws they want to obey. I am meeting with the Executive Director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association next week to discuss how we can collaborate to make the roads safer for all parties. In the meantime, drivers need to remember to give cyclists three feet of space when passing them. Cyclists need to remember that they are vehicles, and as such, must obey all rules of the road just like a car.
We are continuing to move in a positive direction sharing current trend information even more frequently with all other police districts and the investigative units. The goal is to identify the trends sooner and make the apprehensions more quickly to prevent further crime from occurring. While we have certainly slowed since the end of summer, the problem of thefts from autos continues. Just last night, a victim reported that property was stolen from their car. The car was unlocked and parked in their garage. Unfortunately, the garage door was left open overnight allowing easy access to the suspects. Time and time again we see home security system videos of suspects trying car door handles and simply moving on when they are found to be locked, yet every month anywhere from 50-80% of theft from auto victims report that no force was used to enter their car. 1. Lock your cars! 2. Remove anything of value or anything that appears to be of value 3. Close your garage doors especially at night and 4. Call the police when you observe suspicious persons in your neighborhood.
Many thanks to the concerned resident that observed a suspicious person yesterday in the Elm St. parking garage walking in and out of the parked cars. The call was made to us, and the suspect who had been stealing items from cars, ran from the police but was apprehended a short distance away. We recently honored a very young man who lives in our district for his role at observing some suspects at a pool parking lot stealing items from cars. He also called us and gave a very detailed description of the suspects and their vehicle. They were also arrested a short distance away.
We are most successful when we work together to keep our communities safe. I was taken aback recently when a caller to the station thanked me for taking her call, thinking that I was too busy to listen to her concerns. It is my job to listen. I may not always have the answer, or sometimes may not give you the answer you want to hear, but I remain committed to hearing you out and doing the best I can to address legitimate concerns that are raised.
If you observe a suspicious situation, please call our non emergency number at 301-279-8000. For a crime in progress, call 911. For other concerns, you can reach me at 240-773-6700 or 2DCommander@montgomerycountymd.gov
Thanks again for all your help and support.
Captain David FalcinelliCommander – 2nd District