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Neighborhoodsby Peder Schaefer5:12 pmNov 29, 20230

Promised at Leakin Park: Stepped up police patrols, mounted units and Foxtrot flyovers

Councilman Burnett announces the measures after residents gathered last night to complain about unsafe conditions at the West Baltimore park

Above: Trail map for Gwynns Falls and Leakin Park, one of the country’s largest woodland urban spaces. (dickeyville.org)

Responding to last night’s meeting about safety in Leakin Park following the assault of a 71-year-old woman, City Councilman Kristerfer Burnett has outlined a number of steps being taken to address the community’s concerns.

Baltimore Police have promised increased police presence in the sprawling West Baltimore park where the November 7 incident took place.

“The district commander personally committed to increasing their own patrols in the park,” said Burnett, whose 8th District includes the park.

He said BPD also pledged to step up the number of flyovers by the Foxtrot helicopter and to deploy the mounted police unit.

BGE clearcut a 50–75 foot wide right of way in Leakin Park for a gas piepline. The grounds will stay clear of vegetation to allow the utility to visually inspect the pipeline from the air. (Mark Reutter)

In 2018, the city allowed Baltimore Gas & Electric to clear-cut a 50-foot-wide swath through Leakin Park for a gas pipeline. The right of way remains clear of vegetation to allow the utility to inspect the pipeline from the air. (Mark Reutter)

Reinstating Park Rangers

Recreation and Parks said last night it will reinstate a program to employ five full-time rangers across the city’s park system. The agency is also planning to work with vendors to install mile markers in parts of the park and improve cell signal tracking.

To address illegal dumping – a longtime problem residents say the city has failed to address – the Department of Housing and Community Development will dispatch its special investigation unit and utilize trail cameras, according to Burnett.

These measures were announced the day after a public meeting at the Cahill Recreation Center, where residents chastised city agencies and politicians for neglecting the 1,200-acre park, one of the largest woodland urban spaces in the eastern United States.

But park users will have to wait for any decision on whether to close Franklintown Road, which runs through the park, Burnett cautioned.

After a brutal assault in Leakin Park, residents decry lack of public safety measures (11/29/23)

The City Council will start a process “to assess the impact of closing the road and come up with recommendations to reduce vehicular traffic through the park.”

He promised to update the community in 30 days on the efforts to improve park safety.

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