Cumberland Times-News

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February 6, 2014

Law violations increase in Frostburg in 2013

Jump in activity does not translate directly to increase in city revenue

FROSTBURG — A 2013 police department summary released by the Frostburg mayor and city council shows a considerable increase in law enforcement activity in Frostburg in comparison to 2012 totals.

Released as part of January’s regular monthly city council meeting, the summary showed the largest increase in activities came in the area of infractions involving motor vehicles, including arrests for driving while intoxicated.

City Administrator John Kirby feels the increase is not all attributable to the number of increased violators.

“We were able to keep more guys on the streets and do better law enforcement,” said Kirby.

DWI charges, which totaled 26 in 2012, climbed to 46 in 2013. Moving traffic citations increased to 536 in 2013 over 324 in 2012.

“I‚Äąthink Chief (Royce) Douty has been able to do more with a few more people,” said Kirby.

Illegal parking tickets increased from 1,174 in 2012 to 1,500 in 2013. Warning and emergency repair orders totaled 902 in 2013 in comparison to 699 in 2012.

Municipal infractions also rose from 314 to 352.

Juvenile arrests and citations also took an upswing. In 2012, there were 26 juvenile arrests and citations while in 2013 they jumped to 46.

The increased police activity results in more court traffic. District and circuit court appearances, including motor vehicle related cases, rose from 418 to 484.

Despite the rise in violations in several categories, the total amount collected from the violations did not translate into a steep increase in revenues for the police department.

The city collected $93,789.36 in fines and fees in 2013 and a total collection of $92,970.88 in 2012.

Also during January’s mayor and city council meeting, it was announced that those seeking hotel/motel tax dollars for 2014 can now submit their plans.

Officials said that any nonprofit organizations that wish to apply may also make a public presentation of their desired uses for hotel/motel tax revenue at the Feb. 20 council meeting.

“A presentation is not required but it grants them that opportunity,” said Kirby.

Last year 18 organizations were granted a total of $91,100 in hotel/motel dollars. The Main Street Program, Mountain Maryland Trails and the Palace Theatre received the largest awards.

The council also disclosed that a total of 41 calls for fire assistance were taken by the fire department in December.

With winter in full swing, Kirby also asks that city residents be mindful of the ordinances that require sidewalks to be maintained.

“We encourage citizens, both residential and commercial, to get their sidewalks cleared,” said Kirby.

Snow and other precipitation can present a problem for pedestrians.

“We like the sidewalks cleared within a reasonable amount of time,” said Kirby.

The city council also announced that the three members currently serving on the Board of Election for Frostburg have been re-appointed for another four-year term.

The three returning board members are David Linn, Catherine Davis and Gail Leake.

Greg Larry can be contacted at glarry@times-news.com.

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