Kentlands Crime & Safety Report
By: Chris Campbell, KCA Board Chair
Office Dan Lane of the Gaithersburg Police Department serves as the Kentlands Community Resource Officer. He came to the March Board of Trustees meeting to speak on Kentlands Crime and Safety and answer questions from residents. Among the issues he discussed are:
1. The best source for information on crimes in the Kentlands is under the “Public Safety” tab on the City of Gaithersburg website. He encouraged Kentlands residents to use that resource over the websites like spotcrime.com or crimereports.com. His concern with those websites is that they do not provide the background of what happened in an incident. He also counseled that they gather their information from the call service which can attribute a crime to a different geographic area than the actual incident. For instance, if my wallet is stolen in DC, but I wait to come home to the Kentlands to contact the police, then those websites will report the crime as occurring in the Kentlands.
2. Most criminal activity in the Kentlands continues to be crimes of opportunity, specifically thefts from open garages, unlocked cars, etc. Please be diligent in securing your private property and be smart with what is left in plain sight. Theft from auto is the #1 crime in Montgomery County.
3. Please save the call center number 301-279-8000 in your phone. This is the number you should use for all non-emergency calls to police. All calls to police get routed to a Montgomery County call center and the responding police could be GPD or MCPD.
4. Office Lane emphasized the need to continue to be a community that lives by the philosophy that if you “see something, say something.” He encourages reporting incidents, no matter how trivial they may be. Some of our residents have expressed concern that dispatchers have not sent police to follow up on incidents. Officer Lane invited residents to contact him directly if police has not followed up on a call.
5. Get a good description of the people involved in a potential crime. Officer Lane mentioned paying attention to their shoes. Often people shed clothing when being pursued by the police but will not take off their shoes.
6. Office Lane said that the Street Crimes Unit is investigating areas of drug use in the Kentlands with plain clothes officers. He invited members of the community to contact him about areas of known drug activity.
7. Office Lane encouraged people to be careful what they post on social media, including the community website Nextdoor. If there are people involved in criminal behaviour in the community, especially crimes of opportunity, they can gain information from Nextdoor.
Officer Dan Lane can be reached at (301) 258-6168 or email@example.com. He says email is best way to get a hold of him.