The Towson Area Citizens on Patrol (TACOP) honored Towson University police officers and Police Chief Bernie Gerst with their achievement award at the 15th annual Rally Against Crime last Friday, June 19, in Towson. The award recognizes individuals and organizations who have significantly contributed to making Towson safer.
“Chief Gerst and the TU Police Department were recognized for their exemplary record,” said TACOP president Mike Calwell. “Their innovative approach has made Towson University the benchmark other universities are graded against. We appreciate their dedication to not only student safety, but the safety of the surrounding communities.”
The rally was held on Allegheny Avenue before the weekly “Feet on the Street” block party. County Councilman David Marks made remarks at the ceremony alongside Calwell, State Delegate Stephen Lafferty, Baltimore County Police Captain Jay Landsman, Jr. and other TACOP officers.
“Chief Bernie Gerst and the Towson University police force are valuable partners,” said County Councilman David Marks. “[They] deserve this honor.”
Towson has had the lowest number of part I crimes per capita in the USM for six consecutive years and has received the Governor’s Award for Crime Prevention for 30 consecutive years. Earlier this year, TACOP toured the Public Safety Building with Chief Gerst, getting an up-close look at innovative campus safety programs like the emergency alert system and video surveillance technology.
In addition to the TUPD, TACOP honored four others at the rally. Local resident Jen Spry received a recognition award for activism in combating human trafficking; Greater Baltimore Medical Center President John B. Chessare and the staff of the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) program received an award of distinction for serving victims of domestic violence; former Baltimore County Police spokesperson William Toohey received a posthumous memorial lifetime achievement award; and former Baltimore County Police Colonel Kim Ward received an appreciation award.
TACOP volunteers work in partnership with the Baltimore County Police to patrol the streets of downtown Towson and 25 local neighborhoods. They monitor criminal activity and call 911 to report any suspected crimes they see while on patrol.