The Howard County Police are a busy bunch, and they often field questions from residents concerned about issues or doing the right thing. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, along with their answers.
I’m moving to the area and I want to make sure my new neighborhood is safe. How can I find out?
The county has an online interactive crime map. Users can plug in an address and look at crime stats from the area. If you want to put your neighborhood’s stats into a larger context, you can take a look at the annual data for the entire county (.PDF).
I’m starting a new job here in Howard County and I need to have my fingerprints taken. Can I do that at the police station?
Yes. The Howard County Department of Police provides fingerprinting services for Howard County residents and those seeking employment within Howard County. To get them, you will be required to show a driver’s license, a Maryland ID card or a passport for identification.
You’ll need to go to 3410 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043 during the following times:
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 - 4 p.m.
Wednesdays and Fridays, 8 - 9 a.m.
Fees are $20 for the first set (a set is two cards) and $10 for each additional card. Exact change, check or money order is required.
There are too many cars speeding through my neighborhood! Can something be done about it?
Yes. The Howard County police offer a program wherein residents use a speed monitoring device to collect information about speeders. It’s called the S.M.A.R.T Community Program, which stands for “Speed Monitoring and Awareness Radar Team.”
Those in violation are sent letters from the police department. If police determine there is a need, patrol units are deployed to monitor for violations and issue tickets. It’s a proactive way for residents to partner with police and deter speeding. More information about the program can be found online.
What’s the deal with those large pool water trucks filling up at local fire hydrants? Is that allowed?
It is, but there are rules. According Public Information Officer Elizabeth Schroen, “companies that take water from a hydrant must use a meter to track their use. The companies work in agreement with the county Bureau of Utilities and pay for the water. If anyone observes a company taking water from a hydrant, they can contact the Bureau of Utilities to 410-313-4977 with the name of the company to verify they are complying with appropriate regulations. The meters are small devices, so a casual observer may not be able to tell if a meter is being used.”
How do I know if I have the appropriate level of security at my home?
Are your doors and windows locked? That isn’t quite enough, according to the Police Department website. “Do you know if you have removable hinge pins on the outside of your doors?” Police officers do.
The department can perform a Home Security Survey on your home and property. It’s free and can be done at your convenience. It should help reduce the odds of burglary, theft and more.
“Officers perform a detailed security analysis of your home and provide you with a list of recommendations,” according to the website. “An integral part of the survey is an assessment of your personal safety habits while in the home or in your yard.”
If you are interested in a Home Security Survey call 410-313-4795 and leave a message to make an appointment. For additional information on Home Security Surveys, you can call the special operations bureau at 410-313-3758.
The Howard County Police Department’s website is a wealth of additional information. And if you have any other questions, call the department at 410-313-3200.