- Apartment blast from Johnson yields few results
- Gazette, 1 Dec 2005 (by Tiesha Higgins, Staff Writer)
Last March, County Executive Jack B. Johnson cited 22 apartment complexes as havens for crime and threatened to condemn the properties if the owners did not spruce them up.
Eight months later, there is little evidence that the changes have made a dent in criminal activity.
[. . .]
Neither the Prince George’s County Police nor Johnson’s office was able to provide hard numbers on whether calls for police service have tapered off since the costly upgrades were made.
[. . .]
Southern Management filed an $18 million lawsuit against the county after two of the company’s Langley Park properties appeared on Johnson’s target list.
‘‘The government is supposed to be working with us, not blaming us for their ineptitude,” said David Hillman, CEO of Southern Management.
A main issue in the suit is the voluntary fee county apartment owners have paid for police service since 1988. Apartment owners agreed to double their annual license fee from $25 per unit to $50 so the county could afford to hire 100 more officers. The county agreed to the terms.
Hillman said the county never delivered on its promise. The company spends $600,000 a year hiring off-duty police for Hillman’s 27 county properties.
[. . .]
In June, Johnson said another group of apartments would be targeted. His staff said they were reviewing new properties that could be named in the second round, but a new group never emerged. ‘‘I don’t think right now that there’s going to be another list that comes out,” Erzen said.
- Targeting apartment crimes
- Gazette, 2 Dec 2005 (Editorial)
. . . Johnson neglected something just as important as the initial declaration: following through.
After making a big announcement that lit a fire under landlords, Johnson’s proposal quietly fizzled away.
He even failed to follow through with his announcement of the second listing of apartments on his radar.
‘‘I don’t think right now that there’s going to be another list that comes out,” John Erzen, a spokesman for Johnson, told The Gazette this week. . . .
- Gory Prince George's: Comments on Jack Johnson's latest crime-fighting initiative
- PG-Politics, 16 Mar 2005