Law and Or­der: Spe­cial Com­mu­nity Walk

Mt. Airy Es­tates HOA Inc. of Clin­ton holds walk event to con­nect with, get to know lo­cal of­fi­cers

The Enquire-Gazette - - Front Page - By JOHNATHON CLINKSCALES [email protected]­news.com

Pro­mot­ing neigh­borly re­la­tions while con­nect­ing and fel­low­ship­ping with lo­cal po­lice of­fi­cers, the Mt. Airy Es­tates Home­own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Inc., in part­ner­ship with the Prince Ge­orge’s County Po­lice De­part­ment, held a com­muni- ty walk Aug. 11 on the Mt. Airy Es­tates Pre­serves side of Wood­yard Road and Hunter Drive in Clin­ton.

About 30 res­i­dents and of­fi­cers from the Dis­trict V Po­lice Sta­tion par­tic­i­pated in the walk led by As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Kar­ren Tor­res, Board of Direc­tors Vice Pres­i­dent Ernest Can­las, Dis­trict V Com­man­der Maj. Cran­dall A. Weaver and Dis­trict V As­sis­tant Com­man­der Capt. Cedric A. Dick­er­son.

“This is our sec­ond an­nual com­mu­nity walk,” said Tor­res as she walked with the group. “The pur­pose of it is for the com­mu­nity within Clin­ton to come to­gether with the law en­force­ment to show that we are one unit.”

Tor­res, who has lived in the area for the last 14 years, said one of the nice things about Clin­ton is that it is a small, close-knit com­mu­nity which pro­motes

rap­port and togetherness.

Thanks to the Dis­trict V Cof­fee Club that meets once a week, Tor­res gained in­spi­ra­tion for the com­mu­nity walk and helped start it last year. It has been well-re­ceived so far with just as many par­tic­i­pants this year, she said.

“I think it re­ally helps in the sense of we all get busy with our lives and we for­get to know who our neigh­bors are,” Tor­res said. “This is just re­in­forc­ing that, ‘It’s OK. You want to know your neigh­bor. You want to look out for your neigh­bor. We are our brother’s keeper.’ We need to get back to that be­cause now with things get­ting as rough as they are, we just have to be able to look out for each other.”

“It’s a good thing for the neigh­bors and for the cit­i­zens to see,” Dick­er­son said. “They know that we have a part­ner­ship so that’s go­ing to make them less likely to try and vic­tim­ize your com­mu­nity, I think. And it helps us de­velop re­la­tion­ships be­cause we’re out here in the com­mu­nity.”

Hav­ing worked in other dis­tricts, Dick­er­son said he re­ally doesn’t see as much com­mu­nity in­volve­ment like there is in Clin­ton. It cer­tainly helps in terms of pro­mot­ing good com­mu­nity-po­lice re­la­tions, es­pe­cially in to­day’s time, he said.

“I feel that a po­lice de­part­ment is only as strong as the folks that live in the neigh­bor­hood they cover in their dis­tricts,” said Can­las, who helped bring the com­mu­nity walk and neigh­bor­hoods watch pro­gram to fruition dur­ing his first term on Mt. Airy’s HOA board in 2015. “If you don’t have co­op­er­a­tion with the cit­i­zens in the neigh­bor­hoods, then you got fric­tion be­tween the neigh­bor­hoods and the po­lice de­part­ment. No one knows each other and that’s not co­he­sive­ness.”

For Weaver, the walk is just another op­por­tu­nity for of­fi­cers to strengthen their re­la­tion­ship with the com­mu­nity. Dis­trict V is an en­gaged com­mu­nity so it’s al­ways a good feel­ing when law en­force­ment can come out and do things with res­i­dents through­out the year, Weaver said.

“The more and more peo­ple that come out, the bet­ter it is,” said Weaver. “It’s big for me be­cause this is home. My fam­ily’s here — my par­ents are still here, my sib­lings are here and my nieces and neph­ews. So it’s im­por­tant be­cause we have an en­gaged com­mu­nity and ev­ery­one takes a part in the safety and well-be­ing of the com­mu­nity. That’s huge. The po­lice can only do so much but when you can get ev­ery­body out here and ev­ery­body to take own­er­ship, it’s a bet­ter sit­u­a­tion. It’s sig­nif­i­cant.”

STAFF PHOTO BY JOHNATHON CLINKSCALES

Dis­trict V As­sis­tant Com­man­der Capt. Cedric A. Dick­er­son speaks with Mt. Airy Es­tates Home­own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Kar­ren Tor­res as her hus­band, Javier, walks be­side her. About 30 res­i­dents par­tic­i­pated in the Mt. Airy Es­tates HOA’s com­mu­nity walk...

Mt. Airy Es­tates Home Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Kar­ren Tor­res leads a group cir­cle in front of her home as of­fi­cers and res­i­dents in­tro­duce them­selves just be­fore a com­mu­nity walk Aug. 11 on the Mt. Airy Es­tates Pre­serves side of Wood­yard Road and...

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