BOWIE – On the heels of a recent homicide, city residents gathered at the Kenhill Center Thursday night to discuss loitering and crime prevention in the area near Midwood Lane and the Belair Swim & Racquet Club. “We were here to speak with the community to get their feedback and let them know what we […]
BOWIE – On the heels of a recent homicide, city residents gathered at the Kenhill Center Thursday night to discuss loitering and crime prevention in the area near Midwood Lane and the Belair Swim & Racquet Club.
“We were here to speak with the community to get their feedback and let them know what we are doing and our action plans and also to see if those action plans are meeting the needs of the community,” said Sgt. Bennie Henderson, spokesperson for the Bowie Police Department. “That’s the whole purpose of building action plans; to see if they are conducive and something that the community wants.”
The meeting comes after a homicide which occurred on Sept. 30 when Bowie police responded to an altercation that ended with a Bowie resident getting shot and killed.
“The homicide was a tragic thing but it’s not indicative of that area,” said Bowie Police Chief John Nesky. “You can insert that scenario into any parking lot, any place, anywhere. What we’re doing is focusing on the whole quality of life issues around that area.”
Dr. Drewana Bey, principal of Bowie High School, attended the meeting because she wanted to hear the concerns of the community. The homicide victim’s son attended Bowie High School.
“The majority of the students at Bowie High School don’t know anything necessarily about the incident other than what they saw in the newspaper and so forth,” said Dr. Bey. “It was definitely an isolated incident and so we wanted to make sure that we were providing support to the family by kind of giving them their space, but also not creating a situation in which all of the kids at Bowie High School thought as though that was reflective of them.”
Mary Nusser, vice president of Bowie High School Parent-Teacher-Student Organization, said she “wanted to be heard” after a prior meeting with the Bowie Police and Dr. Bey.
“I’ve been working with them for years,” Nusser said. “I love the kids. I know all the potential. But I also know some of the downfalls. Let’s put it all in perspective. I know those downfalls are that you can have maybe five to ten kids in a school that repeatedly do bad things that get all of the attention.”
Nusser said she wants to raise awareness for truancy by hosting a walk to inform merchants that they cannot sell, harbor or allow minors who should be in school to be on their premises.
“They’re not allowed to serve them. That’s a state law,” Nusser said.
According to Henderson, the next step in the police department’s action plan includes installing a gate and fence near the rear of Bowie Public Library so the students cannot hang out in the bamboo area near the school. The department hopes to collaborate with the community and business owners to partner with parents and resolve the issues of student truancy and loitering.
According to a statement from Communications Coordinator for the City of Bowie Una Cooper, a motive for the altercation has not been determined. Anyone with information regarding the incident should contact the Prince George’s County Police Department at 1-866-411-TIPS.