Bike, Foot Patrols to Increase Police Presence in Germantown Business District
By Kevin O’Rourke
Merchants and residents in the downtown Germantown area will be getting a holiday present from District Five of the Montgomery County Police as the department will roll out a new police unit designed to address quality of life concerns in the area.
The unit, dubbed the Central Business District Unit or CBD, will officially begin on Sunday, Dec. 28, but the first day the team will be seen on the street will be Tuesday, Dec. 30.
The CBD will be comprised, at first, of five officers and a sergeant, but another shift will be added after the Police Academy graduations in the Spring.
According to Lieutenant Bob Ravida, the head of the unit, the CBD is a proactive team of officers that is tasked to work in the more urbanized area of Germantown, from Wisteria Drive north to Route 355, and Father Hurley Boulevard east to where Middlebrook Road curves up to Route 355, with an emphasis on the areas of Century Boulevard from Middlebrook Road to Aircraft Drive.
“They will have other responsibilities including The Milestone Shopping Center, and as they build out the Clarksburg Village area, the team will be working up in that area as well,” said Ravida.
Fifth District Commander David Gillespie said, “I am excited about the CBD unit being deployed and getting them out in the community because I believe that we will be able to make a big difference.”
Gillespie said that the CBD Unit has become necessary as growth in the area continues. “Germantown is very diverse, not just in population, but in terms of the amount of different kinds of retail and office space that is here and continues to grow exponentially. We have a number of new businesses and the traffic continues to grow.”
Ravida said, “As a police department we saw a need to get additional officers in to address those issues. There are a lot of calls for service from that area. The area makes up about 25 percent of our total calls for service district-wide.”
Gillespie sad, “We have had a number of complaints from the business community about issues that are happening after school and on weekends. We are going to work with the business community and the residential communities in the area to address these concerns.”