Showing posts with label public safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label public safety. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Montgomery County to host meeting on security at houses of worship Feb. 21

Montgomery County officials will host a special meeting regarding security at houses of worship on February 21, 2024, from 7:00 - 9:00 PM. The meeting will be held in Bethesda, at a location to be announced only to those who register. "Attacks on houses of worship continue to occur at an alarming rate," a meeting announcement states. The meeting will feature presentations by representatives from the Montgomery County Police Department, the Fire and Explosives Investigation Unit of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, and the County's Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. 

Attendees will learn how to "minimize the risk of violent intruders," and what to do in the event of an attack on their house of worship. A menorah was vandalized outside a synagogue in Olney last December, and a suspect desecrated and attempted to burn down two Christian churches - and vandalized a Baptist cemetery - along Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda in July 2022. Meeting registration is open online now.

Photo courtesy Montgomery County

Monday, September 4, 2023

Rockville goes purple again for opioid addiction awareness (Photos)

Rockville's Mayor and Council have proclaimed September as National Recovery Month, to bring attention to the nationwide epidemic of opioid addiction. The theme for this year's effort is “Opioids: Let’s Talk About It,” with the goal of encouraging dialogue and openness about opioid addiction, and awareness of the need to avoid stigmatizing addiction. Residents and visitors will see the most visible representation of the month-long campaign in the purple hue being projected onto City Hall, the Rockville City Police Department, and other city buildings, as well as purple light posts around Rockville Town Square.

The Rockville City Police Department will host the Rockville Goes Purple Drug Takeback, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, September 23 at the department’s headquarters parking lot at 2 W. Montgomery Ave. You can also join RCPD officers at the Rockville Senior Center from 1-2 p.m. Wednesday, September 27 to learn about opioids and drug problems in our community, and how you can help.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Rockville police report black bear sighting

A black bear was spotted and photographed in a neighborhood off of Falls Road this morning, Rockville City police announced. It was climbing a tree in the Horizon Hill neighborhood, off Sunrise Drive. It is not known if it is the same bear who was captured in Rockville and released upcounty last month, or a new visitor. Officers are again working with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to locate and capture the bear. If you spot the bear, call RCPD at 240-314-8900. Stay calm, and do not approach, feed or attempt to capture the animal.

Photo courtesy RCPD

Friday, May 5, 2023

Rockville bear sightings continue

The black bear wandering around Rockville the last few days likes it here, and it's sticking around. Rockville City police announced this morning that the bear was spotted last night on College Parkway, and in King Farm. Officers are currently searching for the bear with the assistance of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. You are asked to call the RCPD at 240-314-8900 as soon as possible if you see the bear.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Black bear spotted in Rockville

Rockville City police are warning the public of the presence of a black bear in the city. The bear was spotted today in the neighborhoods of the West End near Great Falls Road, and Woodley Gardens. If you see the bear, police advise you to remain calm, and not to startle it if it appears to be unaware of your presence.

Bear sightings should be reported immediately to the non-emergency number, 240-314-8900. RCPD is in communication with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources regarding the presence of the bear. Police have provided the following bear safety tips:

"Identify yourself by talking calmly so the bear knows you are a human and not a prey animal. Remain still; stand your ground but slowly wave your arms. Help the bear recognize you as a human. It may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell. A standing bear is usually curious, not threatening.

Stay calm and remember that most bears do not want to attack you; they usually just want to be left alone. Bears may bluff their way out of an encounter by charging and then turning away at the last second. Bears may also react defensively by woofing, yawning, salivating, growling, snapping their jaws, and laying their ears back. Continue to talk to the bear in low tones; this will help you stay calmer, and it won't be threatening to the bear. A scream or sudden movement may trigger an attack. Never imitate bear sounds or make a high-pitched squeal.

Pick up small children immediately. Do not make any loud noises or screams—the bear may think it’s the sound of a prey animal. Slowly wave your arms above your head and tell the bear to back off. Do NOT run or make any sudden movements. Do not make any loud noises or screams—the bear may think it’s the sound of a prey animal.

Hike and travel in groups. Groups of people are usually noisier and smellier than a single person. Therefore, bears often become aware of groups of people at greater distances, and because of their cumulative size, groups are also intimidating to bears.

Make yourselves look as large as possible (for example, move to higher ground).

Do NOT allow the bear access to your food.

If the bear is stationary, move away slowly and sideways; this allows you to keep an eye on the bear and avoid tripping. Moving sideways is also non-threatening to bears.

Do NOT run, but if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground. Bears can run as fast as a racehorse both uphill and down. Like dogs, they will chase fleeing animals.

Do NOT climb a tree. Both grizzlies and black bears can climb trees.

Leave the area or take a detour. If this is impossible, wait until the bear moves away. Always leave the bear an escape route.

To avoid an encounter between your dog and a bear in your yard or neighborhood it is important to:

• Feed your dog (and other pets) inside. If you must feed outdoors, make sure to clean up any spilled or uneaten food and store the empty bowl inside.

• Turn on a security or porch light, check your yard for signs of a bear, and make some noise before letting your dog out in the morning or evening when bears are most commonly active in the warmer months. Talking or clapping can avoid a surprise encounter by alerting a bear to your presence in order to give him or her time to leave the area

• Always have your dog on a leash while walking in your neighborhood and be aware of your surroundings by looking for signs that a bear may be frequenting your yard.

• If you encounter a bear while out in the yard, do not run or let your dog chase after the bear! Recall your dog (if unleashed) and go inside.

• If your dog becomes engaged with a bear, DO NOT try to separate them or get in between your dog and the bear. Use loud noises, throw things, use pepper spray, a paintball gun, or water hose directed at the bear to chase him or her off." 

Monday, July 18, 2022

Rockville celebrates high-pressure infrastructure milestone

A public works project nearly fifteen years in the making is finally crossing the finish line in the City of Rockville. Susan Hoffmann was mayor when the city began replacing its low-flow fire hydrants, which were considered inadequate for fire safety needs. Sixty-seven hydrants were determined to have water flow rates of under 500 gallons per minute, an insufficient amount of water pressure for fire-extinguishing needs. The last hydrant was on Beall Avenue, where city officials and public works employees gathered to celebrate the milestone.

The hydrant upgrades were only part of a larger water system project that is expected to go on until 2108. It will take that long to replace every mile of pipe in the city's water system, which is the project goal. Since 2008, the city has already replaced 22 miles of water main pipe. “This last hydrant being removed out of the city’s system should be highlighted as an achievement and a testament to the Mayor and Council funding the water main rehab program,” John W. Hollida, the city’s engineering supervisor for capital projects, said in a statement.

Photos courtesy City of Rockville

Monday, July 12, 2021

Rockville police chief to address Asian community safety Thursday night

Rockville Police Chief Victor Brito will address the safety of the city's large Asian-American community in a virtual forum this Thursday night, July 15, 2021 at 7:00 PM. You can register online in advance to participate in the meeting, which will also include representatives of the Asian and Pacific Islander community. The forum is being organized by the City of Rockville's Asian Pacific American Task Force.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Text-to-911 now available in Maryland

Callers in emergency situations who cannot, or do not wish to, speak on the phone now have a silent option. Text-to-911 service is now available in the state of Maryland. Residents and visitors alike can contact emergency services via text using the service.

To use Text-to-911 service, follow these steps:

1. Enter 911 in the “To” line.

2. Enter a brief message that includes the location of the emergency and type of service needed – police,              fire, or ambulance.

3. Hit send.

4. Respond to questions from the responding 911 specialist, and follow the instructions he or she provides.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Award-winning Rockville police officer does it again

Rockville City Police Department Corporal Brandon Thomas has twice received awards for saving lives in the line of duty, in 2018 and 2019. Now he has a third. Two weeks ago, Thomas was awarded a Distinguished Service Citation at the Rockville Public Safety Awards.

Thomas received the recognition for saving the life of a customer who stopped breathing at a fast food restaurant. Finding no pulse on the patient, Thomas performed CPR for seven minutes until paramedics arrived at the scene. That action made it possible for the patient to survive the medical emergency, making for three people who are still alive today as a result of Thomas' quick thinking and lifesaving efforts.

Photo courtesy RCPD 

Monday, September 7, 2020

Loudoun County leader blasts Montgomery County for failure of understaffed 911 call center in teen's death

Montgomery County Council has
failed to fully-fund 911 call center staffing,
leaving 54 positions vacant

The Montgomery County Council has failed to adequately staff the county's 911 call center for years, leading to call takers working overtime, and being stressed and exhausted. In recent weeks, the call center has been criticized for its response to a 911 call from the Loudoun side of the Potomac River. By the time the first rescue unit arrived at the correct location, 36 minutes had passed.

"I am baffled by how poorly Montgomery County handled this," Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall said, according to the Washington Post. "How do you wait 17 minutes and then keep waiving Loudoun off, and saying, 'We're taking this call?' They need to work on their 911 center."

But the Post reports that the Montgomery County Council has not only failed to fully staff the 911 center, but is now dragging its feet in investigating the 911 center's failures in the drowning incident in which a 16-year-old family friend of Randall's died. Loudoun has already completed an investigation, and developed a 77-page report. Montgomery County? A Council "briefing is expected later this month," the Post's Dan Morse reported.

It's mind-boggling to consider the tens-of-billions of dollars in wasteful spending and kickbacks to its campaign donors the Council has approved over the last decade. They also managed to have $6.7 million in taxpayer funds vanish, in an embezzlement scheme that has yet to be investigated by the FBI. 

Let's not forget Council expenditures like the $900,000 over-budget Glen Echo Heights sewer pipe, or paying $22,000 for a security camera system that costs less than $1000 retail. And countless extraneous new executive-level positions with six-figure salaries, often filled by political allies of the Council. 

Yet they've failed to spend the necessary funds to staff the 911 call center - where the 911 system itself has experienced two outages in recent years. 

It's a County Council that cannot execute the most basic functions of government. Now, competing jurisdictions aren't only whipping Montgomery County's posterior in economic development, infrastructure and schools, they're also starting to call out its incompetent and feckless elected officials. Considering the local press won't, it's about time someone did.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Montgomery County 911 system fails again

Officials don't know how
many emergency calls went
unanswered during outage

Montgomery County's 911 system failed twice Thursday, according to the Montgomery County Police Department, which does not operate the system. An MCPD spokesperson said that County officials cannot, as of now, tell them how many urgent 911 calls went unanswered during the service interruptions, but that the department is aware of one caller in need of basic life support medical services who was affected.

Callers who dialed 911 around 8:30 AM yesterday morning - and again between 9:35 and 9:43 AM - could not get through to the 911 call center, and instead heard a message saying they number they'd reached was out of service. According to MCPD, the failure was traced to a network outage between system components.

There is no indication that the Alert Montgomery system informed citizens of either outage. Montgomery County Government has yet to post any statement regarding the outages as of this writing.
It was exactly three years ago that I broke the story of a similar 911 system failure. Later, the County tried to cover up the fact that Alert Montgomery had failed to issue alerts to subscribers until long after the outage had ended. Two people were confirmed to have died has a result of that 2016 911 system failure, 

Yet despite their failure having fatal results for two of their constituents in 2016, the County Council has clearly failed to change its ways. Here we are again, with another 911 outage three years later. Similarly, the Council failed to upgrade the public safety radio communications system for County first responders for more than a decade, deliberately kicking the can down the road to have more play money to spend on their cartel sugar daddies.

In fact, since taking the oath of office last December, the latest Council has failed to take action on a single major crisis. Not a single thing has been done to exercise oversight and update the 911 system, complete our master plan highway system, turn around our moribund economy that now ranks last in the region by every economic development benchmark, nor to address rising rates of violent crime.
Most of the current Council term has been spent on a grotesque attack on the men and women of the Montgomery County police department. The Council's continual slander, defamation and disparagement of Montgomery's finest only put our first responders and the public in greater danger. Which fits perfectly with the County Council's record of making public safety a low priority, to the point that there are actual people who have died as a result of their failure to address basic government issues like providing a functioning 911 system. It's outrageous.