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Council Discusses Security Camera Monitoring MOU with University of Maryland

At last night’s meeting, the City Council discussed the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Maryland.

The University of Maryland Department of Public Safety (UMDPS) live monitors eighteen (18) CCTV security cameras in Old Town and three (3) CCTV cameras on Baltimore Avenue between Lakeland and Berwyn House Roads for a total of 21 cameras.

UMDPS provided this service at no cost for three (3) years until the original MOU expired at the end of FY14.

The draft MOU retroactively sets the cost of live monitoring City cameras from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019, at a cost of $6,899 per camera, and from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, at a cost of $7,106 per camera.

The draft MOU provides an alternative such that UMDPS will provide record-only services for CCTV cameras at the annual unit prices: $13,482 for FY 20 and $13,881 for FY 21 If Council were to consider the alternative, the City would realize a savings of $135,345 beginning in fiscal year 20, which would allow the City to purchase approximately 6 cameras annually, including installation and maintenance by Hitachi, the City’s service provider for the City’s remaining cameras.

At the meeting, the COuncil requested the UMPD to provide data on existing cameras in relation to their effectiveness, such as crime incidents captured by these cameras that led to investigation or arrests. The COuncil is expected to discuss the data at a later time.

UMD Fall Semester Move-Ins – Expect Higher Traffic than Usual

The University of Maryland’s fall semester is almost here! Scheduled mass student move-ins have already begun resulting in changes to traffic flow.

Please be aware of pedestrians along City road and expect heavier traffic throughout the day and evening during the campus and off-campus move-in. The University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD) will be on-site providing traffic assistance.

The main campus move-in will continue until today. Expect higher traffic than normal during this time; Knox Road will have one-way traffic heading west, however, two-way traffic will be permitted between Baltimore Avenue and Guilford Drive/Mowatt Lane.

[City of College Park]

Yesterday’s Loud Explosion Came from at UMD’s Energy Plant building

Many residents reported a very loud boom shortly before 2 am yesterday early morning. A resident captured the boom at her home’s camera system.

According to our contact at the UMD, there was an unintended pressure release that caused both a flash and loud boom on Sunday, August 18, shortly before 2 a.m. While information is still being gathered, the cause initially appears to be an over pressurization contained within the equipment located in the university’s Energy Plant building.

Thankfully, no one was injured, and there was no utility loss to campus. Facilities Management is continuing to evaluate the incident in partnership with the power plant operator. There was no damage to the building.

Earlier, I checked with the Police about this mysterious noise. Police checked several places, but couldn’t found anything related to it. Our City staff also couldn’t find a call from residents at City’s hotline number.

City May Hold November Election at UMD’s Ritchie Coliseum

Ritchie Coliseum, University of Maryland

It’s anticipated that the City Hall may not be available as a polling location for this year’s November 5 City election due to the impending City Hall redevelopment project. The Board of Election Supervisors is recommending adding Ritchie Coliseum as the third polling location. The BOES thinks that arrangements can be made with the University of Maryland for use of the space at no cost. We don’t anticipate having the parking issues at Ritchie that we are facing at Stamp.

The Council will discuss this option at tomorrow’s Council meeting

Additionally, the Council will also discuss revised election budget and voting centers at tomorrow’s meeting. Earlier, the Board was exploring the functionality of Voting Centers, which would allow a qualified voter to vote at any of the City’s three designated polls. This concept requires that the poll locations be connected in real time, just like the state/county do for early voting.

The initial plan was to work with the state on making this work, but in March the State told that they wouldn’t be able to support the City because they were tasked on another more pressing matter. The group met several times, a plan is in place, and equipment has been ordered. The preliminary election budget presented in February has been updated to include these costs. The new budget is estimated at $59,015.

Once the BOES have tested the equipment and know they have a working connectivity plan, they will proceed with advertising the polling locations and Voting Center concept to city voters.

This Saturday: Maryland Day, Yard Sale, and School BBQ

This Saturday, celebrate Maryland Day, a day of learning, fun and discovery. You’re invited to bring the whole family and enjoy hundreds of fun-filled activities, demonstrations, exhibits, performances and other events demonstrating the impact and value of our world-class university.

Maryland Day 2019, Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Free admission and parking.

Al-Huda School Community BBQ
Also, this Saturday, from 2pm – 4pm join the Al-Huda school community at their school. The school community will be excited to have you come chat and chill and have some good tasty Burgers, BBQ Chicken, Hotdogs, and some good snacks! meet and greet others!

When: 2 pm – 4 pm

Where: Al Huda School, 5301 Edgewood RD


College Park United Methodist Yard Sale: 
Before you head over to Maryland Day or when you’ve gotten tuckered out from yard work, swing by College Park United Methodist to get some good finds. This will be a sale like no other! Don’t miss clothes, furniture, crafting items, books, and more!

When: 9 am – 1 pm

Where: College Park United Methodist Church




UMD President Dr. Loh Announces Early Retirement

Today the University of Maryland President Dr. Loh announced his early retirement. Here is the letter he sent to the campus community. In his letter, Dr. Loh took responsibility for the tragic death of Maryland football player Jordan McNair.

Dear University of Maryland community,

Serving as the 33rd President of the University of Maryland has been the greatest experience of my professional life. Since I arrived on campus in Fall 2010, I have had the honor and the pleasure of working alongside and leading 50,000 of the most impressive faculty, staff and students in academia to advance our beloved University. Together, we have boldly transformed our University, in ways both significant and subtle. Today, our University deservedly stands among the most distinguished institutions of learning in the world.

Change is a necessary agent of progress. It is in that spirit that today that I announce my retirement as president of the University of Maryland. My final day will be June 30, 2019, a time frame sufficient to help ensure a smooth transition to a new president.

The past several months have been exceedingly difficult for the University, Maryland football, and all who support the Terps following the tragic death of Jordan McNair. As many of you are aware, the independent commission on the culture of Maryland’s football program recently completed their work and provided a report to the University System of Maryland Board of Regents. The report states that the University leadership bears some responsibility for the ongoing dysfunction of the Athletics Department. I accept that responsibility. Last August, I accepted legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made in Jordan’s care. I stand by that decision 100%.

The commission’s report found that “the Maryland football team did not have a ‘toxic culture.'” But the commission did find troubling behaviors within the program. We must work to create a healthier culture that advances the well-being of our student-athletes. Today, Athletic Director Damon Evans and I agreed to implement all recommendations made by the commission and the Board of Regents. Together, Damon and I will spearhead these reforms to ensure the safety and well-being of all student-athletes.

The Board of Regents recommended that Head Coach DJ Durkin will return from administrative leave to resume his regular coaching duties.

In May, I will join the Class of 2019 at Commencement to bid farewell to our University. Together, we will look back on our years in College Park with enduring affection. I will be proud of the growth of our academic enterprise with the addition of talented new faculty members across all disciplines. I will look to our surrounding communities with amazement at how we have together started to transform the Greater College Park region into a hub of innovation and economic development. I will join thousands of supporters and friends who have raised an unprecedented $1.4 billion over the past 8 years to fund groundbreaking research, student scholarships, and world-class learning facilities.

And I will look back with pride upon the most diverse, most-academically talented classes in the University’s history, thousands of students who are already making an incredible mark on our world. This is our shared legacy.

But there is much to do before I go. Today, I will simply get back to work.
With esteem and appreciation,

Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland

Community Meeting about the Future of the UMD Golf Course

The university is in the early stages of considering a proposal to relocate the university’s track and field venue and add recreation space to campus. They are hosting an information session to share the early stage proposal with the community.

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 22 at 6 p.m. in the Samuel V. Riggs. Alumni Center.

According to this Baltimore Sun article, the initial proposal includes constructing a track and field complex on the 18th hole, a 600-space surface parking lot on the ninth hole and five football-length intramural fields on holes 1 and 10.


UMD Golf Course (Credit: the Baltimore Sun)

Student Killed on Route 1 near UMD Entrance

UMD Entrance
Yesterday, at about 6:20 am, police officers were called to the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Campus Drive for the report of a pedestrian collision. The victim was found in critical condition and transported to the hospital where she died a short time later.

Police have identified the victim in today’s The victim is 18-year-old Maria Fisher of Eagles View in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

My thoughts and prayers with the victim and her family, and everyone involved in this tragic incident.

The UMD has confirmed that Maria Fisher was a student at the University of Maryland. The university later released this statement on Fisher’s death:
“It is with deep sadness that we confirm that Maria Fisher was a student here at the University of Maryland. Our campus community is thinking of Maria’s family and friends during this sorrowful time.”

The Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit is investigating a fatal collision involving a pedestrian in College Park Sunday morning.

The preliminary investigation reveals Fisher attempted to cross the northbound lanes of Baltimore Avenue when she was struck by a SUV. The driver remained on the scene. He was not hurt. Investigators are working to determine the circumstances of this collision including whether the victim was in a crosswalk. The crime scene cleanup team arrived after the police concluded their initial investigation. One of the steps to follow once the investigation team has gathered all the evidence and information they can from the scene is to call trauma scene cleaning services so as to allow drivers to once again use the road safely.

Anyone with information is asked to please call the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit at 301-731-4422. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS, text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to

University of Maryland Student Move-In Traffic Alert

Please be aware of pedestrians along City roads and expect heavier traffic throughout the day and evening during the campus and off-campus move-in.

  • 8/18-8/21: Landmark Apartments – College Avenue will become one-way east bound around the apartment with an unloading zone on the Landmark side of the street.
  • 8/19-8/22: Terrapin Row Apartments – Knox Road will be one-way west bound around the apartment with unloading in parking spaces along Knox Road.
  • 8/20: South Campus Commons – Knox Road will be one-way west bound around the apartments with unloading happening at the crest of the hill.
  • 8/24-8/27: UMD Main Campus Move-In.

During these move-in events, the University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD) will be on-site providing traffic assistance.

UMD to Launch Campus-wide Program to Address “Racism, Hate and Violence”


The University of Maryland, together with Bowie State University, will jointly observe a moment of reflection on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 12:05 pm, to honor Second Lt. Richard Collins III who was tragically killed on our campus last May. President Dr. Loh said in a statement to the campus community.

Both institutions will pause in silence for one minute. We do this to remember the life of a promising young man and to reaffirm — especially in these fraught times — core values of our country and our campuses: diversity, inclusion, respect, and civil discourse.

“For the University of Maryland, this observance will launch a year of campus-wide actions, dialogues, and healing that will involve our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We are resolved to combat the spreading scourge of racism, hate, and violence. We are determined to wrest from tragedy the necessary changes to our campus climate and culture so that we embody more fully the values that we stand for.” – Dr. Loh’s statement reads.

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