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Police Community Meeting Update: Thank You

My deepest thanks and appreciation for those who joined last evening’s town hall on community-police relations. Personally, I was moved by the mood and many emotions displayed by the panelists and many participants in the meeting.

My special thanks to CM Mitchell for co-hosting the event, our distinguished panelists, Pastor Wright, and other guests for contributing to the discussion. Also, many thanks to Mayor Wojahn, Mayor-ProTem Dennis, Councilmembers Kennedy, and Mackie for joining and showing your support for the community during this difficult time.

There were many good questions residents asked. Some of them were answered, and many were not because of the limited time we had. We’re going to collect them, have them answered, and post the answers at a later time.

Last night’s discussion is one of the many discussions that we had and will be having in the coming days and weeks. Our faith communities are working to put together a prayer vigil, our City will be also having another forum involving various police departments operating in College Park. Also, our Police-community forum will continue every month, Please look for future announcements.

More importantly, we will continue to work in finding ways to stop abusive practices and improving police-community relations. Please continue to send your ideas on these important topics that you may think most important in College Park and Prince George’s county. Thank you!

In case you missed last night’s forum, you can read more on that here on the Diamondback. Also, here you can watch the recorded video of the meeting.
[Photo credit: The Diamondmback]

TODAY (June 15) @7:30 pm: Town Hall on Policing and Race Relations

A friendly reminder about this evening’s important Town Hall on Police-Community relations. We’ll discuss topics such as policing policies, training, transparency & reporting, police reforms, community policing, and public safety funding.

We’ll also discuss racial justice and inequalities against people of color and minorities across the country and here in College Park.

On the panel, we’ll have State’s Attorney General to Prince George’s County Aisha Braveboy, District 1 County Councilmember Tom Dernoga, District 3 County Councilmember Danielle Glaros, PGPD COPS Police officer, and two members from College Park’s Historic Black community in Lakeland.

When: 7:30 pm, TODAY, June 15, 2020
Join via the web: Zoom link: http://b.link/CPCommunityPolice
Join by phone: (301) 715-8592, Meeting ID: 835 5646 4312 Password: 39399

Please see below event flyer below. We hope to see many of you joining the forum.

Please have your voice heard on these important topics on policing and race relations. Please spread the word. Thank you!

College Park Says Sorry to its Own Historic Black Community

At last week’s meeting, the College Park City Council adopted a resolution stating that it apologizes for the systemic racism that once existed many years ago, causing City’s 130 years old African American community mostly disappear.

The motion came as an amendment to the resolution in support of Black lives following the tragic and senseless death of George Floyd. Please see the adopted resolution here.

The resolution is a step in the right direction towards restoring justice and trust among City’s African American community in particular and the minority communities in general. We hope to have more discussion in the coming days and months. Ideas include forming a commission to explore steps to seek opportunities for restorative justice.

Please read more about this Washington Post article to know more about this.

Please join next Monday’s forum on Community relations to discuss more to discuss this and also, what needs to happen in the short and long run to heal the wounds and to bring a sense of calm in the community.

Two distinguished members of the Lakeland community, Maxine Gross, and Robert Thurston will be on the panel to discuss these topics. Ms. Gross is the former College Park City Council member and the Chairperson of the Lakeland Heritage project. Mr. Thurston is the president of the Lakeland Civic Association.

Please bring your questions and let us know what more needs to happen.

When: 7:30pm, Monday, June 15, 2020
Join via the web: Zoom link: http://b.link/CPCommunityPolice
Join by phone: (301) 715-8592, Meeting ID: 835 5646 4312 Password: 39399

Learn More about Extreme Policing Policies at Next Monday’s Community Forum

Extreme policing policies such as chokeholds & strangleholds are in place in many police departments across the country. The same goes for the training the police officers get in each of the police departments. Thankfully, our local police departments have banned some practices that other departments have not in the country.

Please join next Monday’s forum on Community relations to find more about the policies and training of our local police departments. Please bring your questions and let us know what more needs to happen.

As an update, County Councilwoman (District 3) Danielle Glaros will be on the panel along with other distinguished panelists. Please see the updated flyer below and spread the word. Thank you!

When: 7:30pm, Monday, June 15, 2020
Join via the web: Zoom link: http://b.link/CPCommunityPolice
Join by phone: (301) 715-8592, Meeting ID: 835 5646 4312 Password: 393991

For a Stronger Community Policing Program

During the current environment, when the distrust between police and community is at an alarmingly high level, we cannot stress enough about the importance of having a strong community policing program.

In College Park, we should be thankful to live in a community, where our police officers work closely with the residents to make them feel safer and present them as friends first, and law enforcers as last. Personally, I’ve had the opportunity to attend many community meetings with our officers discussing how to bridge the relational gaps between the community members and police officers. Some of these meetings happened at neighbors’ yard, like the one in this picture, our community Liaison officer Corporal Errol Lobin are discussing public safety with the residents. In other cases, our officers walked with the residents on neighborhood streets, knocking doors as part of Walk-and-Talk programs.

Please join next Monday’s forum on Community relations to hear more about how we can improve police-community relations further. Officer Lobin and others will be on the panel to take your questions and comments. Please spread the word.

When: 7:30pm, Monday, June 15, 2020

Join via the web: Zoom link: http://b.link/CPCommunityPolice

Join by phone: (301) 715-8592, Meeting ID: 835 5646 4312 Password: 393991

Tomorrow’s NCPCA Meeting: It’s Election Time

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Please join your neighbors for the NCPCA’s June 11 meeting at 7:30 p.m. If you would like to participate, please email district4vision@yahoo.com for the teleconference telephone number and access code by tomorrow at 5 p.m.. If you have never participated in a teleconference, it’s easy! You don’t need a camera on your computer; you don’t even need a computer. You just call into the phone number which we will supply and punch in the access code.

Below is the meeting’s draft agenda:

7:40 College Park Life & Times – Mark Goodson, Managing Editor will give us the scoop on the newspaper’s launch
7:55 Hollywood Farmers Market – The Market Master, Julie Beavers, and a board member will update us on the market.
8:15 Elections – discussion regarding June elections, proposed voting procedures, and possible candidates.
8:35 Charter Change — introduction
8:50 Citizens against Beltway Expansion update
9:00 Guests & Officials Announcements
9:15 New Business & Future Agenda Items

Please visit NCPCA’s website at www.myncpca.org for previous agendas, meeting minutes, bylaws, and more!

Membership in NCPCA is open to all adult residents of North College Park, and only members may vote in decisions of the Association. Please complete the membership on the website, and mail it with your dues payment to the address listed.

Listening Session on Community-Police Relation

After 2-month hiatus (due to COVID-19), our Community-Police meeting is back. Due to the tragic, and senseless death of George Floyd, we will use this meeting to take your input about ways to further improve relations between the members of our community and law enforcement. Please spread the word.

Join via the web: Zoom link: http://b.link/CPCommunityPolice

Join by phone: (301) 715-8592, Meeting ID: 835 5646 4312 Password: 393991

Council to Ask SHA and County Council to Help Fund Route 1 Reconstruction in North College PArk

Recently, I asked the City Council to consider sending a letter to the SHA/MDOT thanking them for their announcement on the reconstruction of Route 1 in south College Park and asking them to start rebuilding Route 1 in North College Park. Segments 2 and 3 of the reconstruction in the north College Park has not been funded—there is no money in the draft six-year Consolidated Transportation Plan for engineering, right-of-way acquisition, and construction for the segments from MD 193 to the Capital Beltway. The City has requested the State to include funding for the rest of the project but has been unsuccessful thus far.

Prince George’s County annually submits a Transportation Priorities Letter to the State indicating the County priority for State transportation projects. The County lists funding of segments two and three of the Baltimore Avenue project as a third priority of nine projects. The County’s first priority is interchange improvements at I-495 and Arena Drive, and the second priority is an interchange and intersection improvements at several locations on MD 210. It’s important to send a request to the County council that it makes the Baltimore Avenue project a higher priority in its letter to the State and also consider sending a letter again to MDOT requesting funding for segments two and three.

Given the long timeframe for project engineering; the long delays in bringing Phase 1 to construction; and the importance this project for the safety of drivers and pedestrians in College Park, the Council will consider approving two separate letters to the County Council and the MDOT urging MDOT to fund planning, engineering, and right-of-way acquisition for Segments 2 and 3. We hope to approve these letters at tomorrow’s Council meeting.

This Year’s NAtional Night Out May Move to October

At this week’s City Council meeting, the Council will consider postponing the August NNO event to October (if feasible at that time) and change Council Worksession dates in August and October to accommodate this change.

This year, 2020, all summer events which would draw large groups to one location have been canceled in order to minimize public health exposure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Therefore, staff is recommending postponing the August NNO event to the first Tuesday in October, October 6. This would be the same day as NNO is observed in other parts of the U.S. and could allow greater participation since an October date wouldn’t conflict with summer vacation plans and could allow UMD student residents to participate.

A final decision about holding the event in October will be based on public health guidelines due to COVID-19.

[City of College Park]

Mosquito Spraying is Cancelled for the Season

The City received notification from Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) Mosquito Control Section that they will not be conducting the adult mosquito control spray portion of their program this season.

The Department of Public Works staff contacted our local County mosquito control representative at MDA to inquire further about the cancellation and was told budget constraints and COVID-19 are the primary reasons for the program changes. The mosquito control section is not permitted to hire summer staff, which assist with the adult spray portion of the program. They anticipate being able to conduct larviciding activity in areas of known standing water until they exhaust their supply of insecticide; they have not been authorized to purchase more product.

Residents can still report high populations of mosquitos via MDA’s online form here.

[City of College Park]

Council to Discuss and Adopt Resolution following Homicide Incident of George Floyd

At the last City Council meeting, I asked my Council colleagues to adopt a resolution renouncing systematic racism following the brutal homicide of George Floyd. We hope to adopt this (draft) resolution at the next Council meeting. I’m also working to host a (virtual) listening session to get your ideas on how we can improve race relations in College Park. I’ll let you know once this is finalized.
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RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF COLLEGE PARK RENOUNCING SYSTEMIC RACISM AND DECLARING SUPPORT OF BLACK LIVES

WHEREAS the Mayor and Council acknowledge that certain public policies have created wide disparities of well-being and opportunity among Black people in College Park and throughout the United States; and

WHEREAS many of these policies and actions have led to systemic racism in our community and country; and

WHEREAS the enormous consequence of systemic racism in our community and across the country is that opportunities for employment, housing, safety, wealth, education, health, and other conditions of life quality have been denied or diminished for Black people; and

WHEREAS Black people are rightly outraged by this country’s devaluation of Black life and humanity; and

WHEREAS Black people have been targeted, profiled, injured and murdered by law enforcement throughout this country at inexplicable rates, and

WHEREAS The City of College Parks is comprised of 15% Black residents; and

WHEREAS these residents deserve justice, fair treatment, and recognition of their valuable contributions to our community without fear.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of College Park must explicitly, directly, consciously, and painstakingly seek out and confront systemic racism; and it is further

RESOLVED that the City of College Park will examine our history and all current policies and programs for evidence of disparate impact based on race and ethnicity, and it is further

RESOLVED that we will determine if any of our actions, deliberate or unintended, create barriers to equal participation and opportunity for Black people in our community; and it is further

RESOLVED that the Mayor and Council will actively involve and learn from Black people so that we can collectively create policies and practices eliminating barriers to participation, equality, and opportunity; it is further

RESOLVED that the Mayor and Council believe that Black Lives Matter.

ADOPTED by the Mayor and City Council of the City of College Park, Maryland, at a regular meeting on June 9, 2020, and effective immediately.

Boards and Committees Application Deadline Extended

Volunteers Wanted
Are you interested in serving on a City Advisory Board?
Applications extended to August 1, 2020
Serve your community, lend your talents, and meet your neighbors. The following advisory boards have vacancies:
  • Advisory Planning Commission -1 Vacancy (District 1 or 4)
  • Animal Welfare Committee – 4 Vacancies (District 2, 3 or 4)
  • Bee City USA – 9 Vacancies (all Districts, or someone who works in the City)
  • Board of Election Supervisors – 1 Vacancy (at large)
  • Committee for a Better Environment – 13 Vacancies (all Districts)
  • Education Advisory Committee – 2 Vacancies (District 1 & 2)
  • Ethics Commission – 1 Vacancy (District 4)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Committee Between 1 – 5 vacancies (District 3 and 4)
  • Noise Control Board – 1 Vacancy (District 2)
  • Recreation Board 2 Vacancies (District 1 & 2)
  • Seniors Committee – 2 Vacancies (any District)
  • Veterans Memorial Committee – Up to 7 Vacancies (2 members from District 2; 1 member from Districts 3 and 4 all districts)
Interested in volunteering? Please complete and submit an application to jsmiller@collegeparkmd.gov or to your to your City Council representative by August 1, 2020.
For detailed information on City advisory boards, please click here.
For additional information regarding vacancies, please contact the City Clerk’s office, your City Council representative or visit our website at www.collegeparkmd.gov/186/Boards-Commissions

Metro Suspends Service Due to D.C. Protests

The information below was sent to us from WMATA early this week. The advisory will end by the end of this week:

In the interest of public safety and in light of an announced 7 p.m. citywide curfew in the District of Columbia, all Metrorail and Metrobus service will end earlier than normal today, Monday, June 1. The rail system will close one hour early, at 8 p.m., and Metrobus service will end two hours early, at 9 p.m.

Customers are advised of the following service changes:

Metrorail will close at 8 p.m. (one hour early). Last trains will depart downtown transfer stations at that time. Inbound service (toward downtown) will end earlier than 8 p.m. Please adjust your travel. Alternate transportation will not be provided.

Metrobus service will be suspended systemwide at 9 p.m. Buses that are scheduled to begin service at or after 9 p.m. will not operate. However, buses that are already in service at 9 p.m. will continue operating to the end of the line before going out of service.

MetroAccess will not begin any new trips (i.e. “outbound” service from customers’ residences) after 9 p.m. Customers with existing reservations will be contacted by the MetroAccess service center.
These changes apply to Monday, June 1, only. Metro will announce any additional adjustments as necessary.

As a reminder, current Metro service levels are reduced and capacity is extremely limited due to the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines. Customers should consider alternate travel options whenever possible and use Metro only if necessary for essential needs.

Primary Election- How to Vote Today?

​Hopefully, most of you have received your “vote by mail” ballots for TODAY’s June 2, 2020 Primary. There are three safe, convenient ways to vote:

1. Mail in your ballot so it is postmarked today, Tuesday, June 2.
2. Drop off your ballot at a voting site by 8 PM today at the drop boxes at the 4 election sites below. College Park Community Center is one on the list.
3. Vote in person by 8 PM today.

​College Park Community Center
​5051 Pierce Ave.
​College Park, MD

​City of Bowie Gymnasium
​4100 Northview Dr.
​Bowie, MD 20716

​Southern Regional Technology & Recreation Center
​7007 Bock Rd.
​Fort Washington, MD

​Kentland Community Center
​2413 Pinebrook Ave.
​Hyattsville, MD

WE’RE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND VOTE!!

What are Re-opening and What Remain Closed in College Park?

On Thursday, May 28, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced she will be lifting the stay-at-home order and will begin an incremental, modified Stage One re-opening for Prince George’s County effective today, Monday, June 1. Please see that list in the flyer at the end of this post. City also issued a statement about its own reopening status. Combining both statements, here is the list highlighting what is opening, and what is remaining closed in College Park.

Businesses

Bagels and Grinds in College Park

Bagels and Grinds in College Park

Restaurants may open with outdoor dining only with no more than six (6) people seated at a table. Tables must be at least six (6) feet apart and no more than 50 people will be permitted at the restaurant regardless of space. Employees must receive health screenings prior to their shifts and CDC guidelines must be adhered to. All employees must wear face coverings and restaurants must have hand sanitizer and appropriate hand-washing facilities available;

In College Park,  Bagels & Grinds will open its patio starting Monday, June 1, and will be able to accommodate about 20 outdoor seats. You can see here a more detailed list of restaurants that may be open starting today.

Retail stores may reopen with curbside pick-up only;

Barbershops and hair salons may reopen for hair services by appointment only with one (1) customer per 200 square feet, use of PPE by employees and customers, and the following of CDC guidelines. Customers will not be allowed to wait inside the establishment for their appointment;

Childcare facilities may reopen for essential employees and employees who are returning to work. Face coverings and gloves must be worn by all employees, social distancing and CDC guidelines must be adhered to;

Car washes may reopen with automated systems – drivers and passengers must remain inside the vehicle at all times;

Manufacturing may reopen with appropriate social distancing, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and the following of CDC guidelines;

Face coverings must be worn inside all businesses and businesses must continue to enforce social distancing. If you choose to go out, please keep in mind the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and remember to wear a face maskstay at least six feet apart from other people, avoid mass gatherings and wash your hands for 20 seconds regularly.

The City encourages restaurants to open with outdoor seating and will work with businesses and property owners to facilitate increasing space for seating, including, where feasible, to use part of the street right-of-way.

Houses of Worships

Houses of worship may reopen for gatherings of ten (10) people or less or continue virtual services;

Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets may reopen for carry-out only and must maintain proper social distancing, face coverings, and the following of CDC guidelines;

Parks and Playgrounds

County Parks, golf courses, and tennis courts remain open with appropriate social distancing measures in place; basketball courts, playgrounds, fitness facilities, and pools will remain closed

City playgrounds, fit lots, and ball courts will remain closed

Offices:

Prince George’s County Government buildings remain closed to the public and employees continue to telework.

All City buildings and facilities remain closed to the public. This includes City playgrounds, fit lots, and ball courts.

City staff in all departments will continue to process and respond to email and phone calls remotely. For contact information for all departments, please visit the City’s website. Many of the City’s services can still be conducted online or via phone.

City Services:

Seniors Transportation Services remains in service by appointment only for essential trips (medical appointments or medications which are vital or to purchase items that are essential for subsistence within the next 7-14 days only). Please call 301-345-8100 to make an appointment.