The meeting was called to order by Heather Iliff at .Also present were officers and board members Tim Aldridge, Jerry
Anzulovic, Andrea Carpentieri, Al Cutino, Chuck Ireton, Jack Perry, Harry
Pitt, Mark Seaton, Mark Shute, and Tim Triplett.
Agenda Item 2. Minutes from last
The minutes from the meeting on June 16, 2005 were accepted into the
Agenda Item 3. Does College
Park need its own police force?
Bob Catlin, College Park
Mr. Catlin prepared summary information regarding
the estimated cost and property tax impact.His report is based on projections
developed by the City of Bowie.The complete summary follows the
minutes.Highlights of Mr.
Catlin’s presentation include:
i.The three major considerations for a City police
force are: size of force, cost, and tax rate impact.
ii.A city police force would require at least 30
iii.Salaries would not be the only cost
consideration; there are additional capital expenses than salaries.Estimated annual operating cost for a police
force would be approximately $4.0 million.
iv.The estimated increase to the tax rate to
support a police force would be 27.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.This effectively doubles the tax rate, which
is currently 28.5 cents per $100.
v.If College Park
were no longer using CountyPolice
services, that tax cost would decrease by approximately 12 cents per $100.
vi.While College Park
would experience a dramatic increase in the tax rate, the overall tax rate
would be closer to that of other cities in Prince George’s
Park’s current rate is among the lowest in the county.
Steve Brayman, Mayor, City of College
Citizens have perceived an increase in crime;
police statistics support this perception.However, compared to the rest of the
county, the crime rate is lower in College Park.While police response has improved in
the recent past, it is difficult to get a higher level of response from
county police when the rest of Prince George’s
County has worse crime problems.
Brayman estimates that the cost to citizens to have a police force would
be approximately one dollar per household per day.While a city force is expensive, the
force would be responsive and accountable to the city.
ideas: property taxes (for approximately 33% of the total); funds from
the State of Maryland in an
amount to be negotiated; a $25 fee from every University
of Maryland student would
raise $800,000 - $900,000 per year.
the next two years, the mayor and council will work to identify funds
that the city would be willing to put toward a police force.
John Giannetti, MarylandState Senator:
General comments: If College
Park has a police force, citizens will receive
response and accountability.
is better to overestimate costs, although he thinks $1 per day is worth
bill has been passed in Annapolis
to create a business tax district, so that only those businesses within
the tax district boundary would be taxed at a higher rate.Such funding could be used for a police
Giannetti does not have a solution, but is open to citizen comment and
Jack Perry, College Park
Mr. Perry is opposed to a College
Park police force.He thinks it would be better to prevail
upon the Prince George’s
County police force and the CountyExecutive’s Office to obtain
the police services the City already pays for.Mr. Perry has not had difficulty with
will be high; these include salaries, space for headquarters, vehicles,
and liability.Mr. Perry does not
want to see the tax rate doubled.
College Park be able to
attract quality officers and compensate them adequately?If not, the force would be a training
ground for other agencies, as officers would leave after several
Park should investigate the Resident Trooper
program.While this is not free,
state funds might be available.
citizens really want to spend money for a police force which would focus
on preventing the frivolous activities of students?
General Discussion Points
It has not been decided that the issue of a
city police force will go to a referendum vote.Therefore, the BDCA does not have to
vote to support such a referendum.
i.Where would quality officers come from?With changes in the nation’s demographics,
the number of retirements exceeds the number of people in the workforce.
ii.In general, the larger and better funded police
forces will perform better.When a force
is underfunded and too small, it will be staffed by personnel who will move to
a better situation as soon as possible, or by those officers who on one else wants.If College Park
decides to have a police force, it should be done correctly, with good pay,
adequate equipment, good supervision, and benefits such as good a retirement
i.Mayor Brayman commented that he hears a lot of
citizens say that they voted against a police force in the past, but now would
support it.More people see a need for
attention to public safety issues.
ii.Several attendees commented that they were not
interested in the past, but would support a police force now.If we citizens do not have security, we will
not have freedom; and quality of life will decline.
iii.Can the services provided by the contract police
be evaluated?Although the city has
funding for 103 hours per week, in recent weeks the city has received an
average of 70 hours of services.The
cost is $30 per hour; approximately $195,000 per year is budgeted.
iv.How could the concept of a police force be
marketed to voters to make it attractive?
v.Is the county holding back on providing services
to College Park in the hopes that
the city will get fed up, thus forcing the city to provide its own police
i.Ten years ago, citizens were able to get a
response from county police; this is no longer the case.We need to get the protection we pay
for.In addition, students are at risk,
since they tend to be less aware of their surroundings.
ii.Police statistics show that crimes are not
reported here, so the county police do not see the need for increased
iii.Can the jurisdictions of existing police forces,
like the University and State forces, be expanded?This is a politically-sensitive issue.
County police are primary in the City.The county force is understaffed; they need 1800-2000 officers, and
currently have 1400.The City will ask
for our share of any personnel increase.
i.Resident Trooper program: the cost is
approximately $120,000 per officer; the city would need to have enough Resident
Troopers to make a difference.
ii.Some citizens mentioned being retired, on a
fixed income, and would have difficulty handling any kind of tax increase.
iii.Some citizens felt a tax increase to pay for a
police force would be worth it, and taxes would be brought in line with other
cities in the county.
iv.Could the county refund the tax money the city
pays for county police coverage if College Park
had its own force?Could the University
subsidize a City force?
v.If a business tax district is developed, it
seems unfair to tax only certain members of the community to benefit
everyone.In addition, the tax base may
not be as large as might be hoped.Residents of the OldTown
neighborhood have requested a city force the most.
Quality of life:
i.Improvement of overall quality of life makes a
difference to communities; therefore, it is not a waste of time to eliminate
crimes such as public drinking.
ii.A police force should be treated as a business;
things to consider include whether there is a real need for police services,
and whether the county police could operate within smaller districts.
Mr. Perry will obtain a report from the contract
police for inclusion in the newsletter.
Citizens are encouraged to report all criminal and
suspicious activity, so that such events get logged in with the county
police’s computer system and are tabulated with crime statistics.
Agenda Item 4.Board and Committee Reports
Treasurer’s report: Mr. Cutino reported that the
profit from Berwyn Day was $588; donations from the Washington Post and
the City of College Park were
helpful financially.The Civic
Association has had $2000 in receipts, including dues, Berwyn Day, and a
grant to the Welcoming Committee.There have been $1894 in disbursements for a balance of
$1158.59.There was a motion to
accept the Treasurer’s report; the motion was seconded, and the report was
Welcoming Committee: Amy Noggle.
In January, the BDCA received a $1000 community
development grant.The grant
allowed for preparation of welcome bags.
The bags have been given out to approximately half
of the renter households, and as many new families as possible before
Berwyn Day.Approximately 100 bags
have been distributed, but more need to be handed out.
Distribution will be ongoing; businesses wishing to
include materials should contact the BDCA.
Neighborhood Preservation Coalition: Harry Pitt
The College Park Area Homes Fair, held July 30, was
a success: 35 volunteers contributed time and energy to several
committees; approximately 100 families attended the Fair; and the NPC
made a small profit.The NPC will
consider holding the Homes Fair as an annual event.
Kevin Young’s letter to the 21st
Delegation about legislative priorities was read to the group.Priorities listed include reducing the
number of non-related individuals allowed to reside in a single family
home from 5 to 3.
Volunteers are sought to draft letters to real
estate agents to discuss NPC’s goal of bringing owner-occupants to area
homes, and discourage purchase of homes by landlords.
The next meeting of the NPC will be held Saturday, September 24, 2005,
from at Fealy
Hall, Berwyn Road, College
Suggestions for improvements to the Berwyn
Neighborhood Playground were sought at Berwyn Day.Children drew pictures of what they
would like to see at the playground.The pictures and suggestions will be submitted to MarylandNationalCapitolPark and Planning
The City is writing a letter for the MNCPP budget;
the BDCA will send a letter giving details about what citizens want in
the playground.Contact your
officials with suggestions.
Citizens are encouraged to attend MNCPP’s budget
development meeting on Tuesday, September 20th at at Park and RecreationAdministrationBuilding,
6600 Kenilworth Ave,
Auditorium, 1st floor.
Civic Association Updates:
Website: Tim Triplett would like to include
subcommittee pages on myberwyn.org.Send information and ideas to Mr. Triplett.
National Night Out: This event was held on August
2.Five successful events were
held around the City.The BDCA
will send a letter to Arbor Management thanking them for their
participation and food donations.
Day: While the turnout was smaller than in past years, everyone seemed to
have a good time.Mr. Young will
provide an estimate of the number of meals sold. Food receipts were about
the same, but expenses were higher this year.
How to volunteer: Contact Mr. Anzulovic or Mr.
Perry to participate in the Defeati Graffiti brigade.In addition, a form will be included
with the Berwyn News with information on how to get involved.
Agenda Item 5: Reports from City
The entire City Council is running for
re-election.In addition, there is
interest from the landlord groups in having their own candidates
run.The deadline for declaring
candidacy is September 23.
Under a new grant program, buyers who purchase a
home which has been a rental for at least the last two years who plan to
turn the home back to owner-occupancy will receive up to $5,000 at
settlement.The amount may be
doubled in certain jurisdictions.A total of $100,000 has been provided for this program.
The mayor and council have approved a donation of
$10,000 to the Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina relief.
The mayor has established a committee to study the
issue of whether College Park
should have a police force.
$95,236 was donated to the College Park Swim Club.
The “No Parking” signs that were removed from Pontiac
Street have been replaced.
The city has a new Public Works director, who is
well versed in solid waste disposal and recycling.
The TecumsehGardens apartments will be
converted to condominiums.
To vote in the elections this November, citizens
must be registered 30 days in advance of the election.
Last weekend was a loud weekend for parties in the
city.20 noise violations were
issued at $500 each.Residents who
experience noise problems should contact the Noise Board officer.If the officer is not available to
respond, any two citizens can file a noise complaint.
The University View apartments have contributed to
a very large traffic problem.Call
Senator Giannetti’s office to express support for the Route 1 funding
project to help alleviate traffic problems.
Agenda Item 6: New Business:
Mr. Anzulovic proposed two motions:
That the Civic Association not stand in opposition to
the Northgate Condominium project
That the Civic Association become a party of record
on the following projects:
i.The detailed site plan for Northgate
ii.The detailed site plan for Fairfield
in Greenbelt and Greenbelt Station
iii.Site plans for Springhill Lake Apartment
Both motions passed.
Andrea Carpentieri, Recording Secretary, BDCA
City of College
Park Police Force -Estimated Cost and Property
Tax Impact (9/15/05)
Prepared by Bob Catlin
The City of Bowie is voting on having a City
Police force in its November election. Bowie researched the cost of having
a police force a year ago and from their information I have extrapolated what a
police force would cost College Park in operating and capital
costs. Bowie is twice the size of College
Park, but has a crime rate that is less than 50% of College
Park's. We have the advantage of having University of MD police and Metro police, plus
the State Police barracks in the city, which would be of value in supplementing
our police services. I have based my estimated College
Park police costs on having a police department one-half the size of
How large is our non-University police force now?
Existing CountyPolice assigned to College Park CSA:16.5 (my estimate)
Total: 18 officers (actual is less than what is funded, which is
23.5 (21 + 2.5 officers))
How large would a minimally sized College
Park police force be and what would it cost? A City Police force of
28 officers, plus a chief and a deputy chief, for a total of 30 police, along
with 6 civilian support personnel, would have an annual operating cost of about
$4.0 million. We already are spending over $150,000 on contract police, plus we
could receive about $250,000 in state aid for police. That would bring the net
operating cost down to about $3.6 million. The capital cost to be financed
would be about $6 million. If financed over 15 years the annual cost would be
What is the impact on the City's property tax rate? The City's
current tax rate is 28.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. Police operating
costs would be 24.5 cents in additional taxes and police capital costs would be
an additional 4.0 cents, for a total tax increase of28.5 cents, which would
result in a doubling of the City's tax rate to 57 cents.
These results don't take into account an eventual reduction of
City residents' County tax property bill, as the County's tax differential with
the City would be slowly adjusted to reduce the County's property tax rate. The
reduction in the County tax bill would eventually be about 12 cents. Our
current County property tax rate is 94.2 cents.
How would a City tax rate of 57 cents compare with other cities
in Prince George's County? BerwynHeights’ tax rate is 48.6 cents; Greenbelt's is 76.6 cents; RiverdalePark's is 67.7 cents; Hyattsville's
is 63.0 cents; and University Park's tax rate is 60.0 cents.
Elsewhere, Laurel's is 72.0 cents; Cheverly's is
40.0 cents; and New Carrollton's is 45.0 cents. These cities and towns, with
the exception of New Carrollton, have their own police force. Bowie's existing tax rate is 32.2
cents. Bowie estimates that a police force
would increase its tax rate by at least 16.2 cents (operating costs only), to a
rate of 48.4 cents. I estimate that Bowie could finance its capital
costs with an additional 2 cents increase in its property tax rate.
How long would it take to have a police department fully
operational? Bowie estimates it would take it at
least four years. I don't see any way that we could do it any sooner.