Memo­ri­als to stay put in Tow­son’s Pa­triot Plaza

Trib­utes to po­lice of­fi­cers and fire­fight­ers will not be moved in re­design

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Rachael Pa­cella

Baltimore County of­fi­cials say they will not re­lo­cate a memo­rial for po­lice of­fi­cers killed in the line of duty that stands out­side the His­toric Court­house in Tow­son, nix­ing an ear­lier pro­posal made as part of a re­design of Pa­triot Plaza.

Last year the county an­nounced plans to re­design Pa­triot Plaza, a pub­lic area be­tween the His­toric Court­house and the Baltimore County Cir­cuit Court build­ing. The plaza is largely paved, and of­fi­cials said they want to add green space to the area.

Cole We­ston, pres­i­dent of the Baltimore County Fra­ter­nal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 4, said he be­came con­cerned over the plaza re­design af­ter seeing a pro­posal that called for mov­ing the po­lice memo­rial, which is lo­cated on a hill at the south side of the plaza, to what he con­sid­ered a lesspromi­nent lo­ca­tion near heat­ing and air con­di­tion­ing units by the His­toric Court­house.

The memo­rial, a large gran­ite struc­ture in the shape of a county po­lice badge, was ded­i­cated in May 1996, ac­cord­ing the FOP web­site.

In Septem­ber, We­ston sent a let­ter to County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz ex­press­ing op­po­si­tion to the move.

County spokes­woman Ellen Kobler said this week the po­lice memo­rial, as well as a nearby memo­rial for fire­fight­ing per­son­nel, “will re­main ex­actly where they are presently lo­cated.”

In an email, she said of­fi­cials have asked the project’s de­signer to sub­mit “al­ter­nate de­sign pro­pos­als.”

We­ston said union mem­bers will be pleased with the de­ci­sion.

County of­fi­cials do not have a time­line for the project’s com­ple­tion, Kobler said.

The plaza has had prob­lems for years, mainly from a foun­tain that had to be turned off af­ter it leaked into of­fices un­der the court­yard. A ma­jor part of the $4.25 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion will be re­mov­ing the foun­tain and fix­ing the prob­lems it caused.

ALGERINA PERNA/BALTIMORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

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