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Is Bel Air Still Safe?

Harford County residents blamed recent crime on Edgewood, which offended some readers.

Did  change your opinion of , or do you still feel safe?

On Bel Air Patch's Facebook page, some Harford County residents said the town is "out of control." Others blamed recent crime on Edgewood, which offended some readers.

One commenter thinks resources are not being used efficiently.

"If you want to have a serious discussion, consider the problem of Bel Air and Harford County having separate police departments," Brint Cooper wrote. "We have much discussion about having more efficient government, yet we tolerate wasteful [duplication] of services among Bel Air, Havre de Grace, Aberdeen and the County. What sense does it make to have incorporated towns and separate police departments?"

Is Bel Air at a greater risk for crime than it was before ? What about ? Or are these incidents anomalies? Join the debate in the comments and tell Patch whether you feel secure in town.

lisa July 18, 2011 at 05:04 PM
I still feel relatively safe in Bel Air, but these incidents do seem to crop up more and more often. I find it ironic that I decided against going to Artscape downtown on Saturday with my 2 sons b/c I was worried about riding the light rail after dark. Then I hear about the shootings at the Exxon and realize that no place is ever exempt from crime. I will say that with the crime and all the crowding & traffic in Bel Air, I'm considering moving to "greener pastures"...i.e. maybe Western Maryland?
John Citzen July 18, 2011 at 05:12 PM
The more people that move into an area crime will inveitably follow. Plus we have a great escape route 24 to 95 and disappear but that is everywhere if you have major roads and business a criminal sees this as a quick stop and run. So what don't have all the stores and targets etc.. NO just stay ever vigilant. If it doesn't look right it isn't report it and let the professionals handle it.
John Citzen July 18, 2011 at 05:15 PM
Here is one more thing Why is this NEWS ?? cause it doesn't happen every day it is a rare thing thank God. Do they report every ambulance call, or every drug arrest in the city of Baltimore why cause it isn't news it happens everyday. When shootings and brazen robbery become a everyday occurance and not in the news then I will feel unsafe or just travel armed as I am leaving the area.
Monica July 18, 2011 at 06:10 PM
KEEP BALTIMORE CITY OUT OF BEL AIR.
Jason Chilly Edwards July 19, 2011 at 02:02 AM
Whoever is offended by the crime spreading to belair from Edgewood and doesn't understand that most of the counties crime happens there can join me in a trip this weekend and I will drop you off in Edgewood's public housing neighborhoods around midnight and see if you make it out with your wallet. Unlike most of the people that live on Harford county, I remember when cattle used to be in the field across from Harford Mall and when you didn't have to lock your doors when you left your house. These incidents make it ever clear to me of why I intend to move my family out of Maryland within the year.
Proud to be liberal July 19, 2011 at 04:24 PM
Jason: I hope you enjoy Mississippi or whatever red state you go to. The grass is always greener...
Robert Armstrong July 19, 2011 at 04:58 PM
The availability of Methamphetamine (aka Hillbilly Heroin) is on the rise in Northern MD and Southern PA. Things will get worse before they get better.
Brittany July 19, 2011 at 07:37 PM
I don't know why I'm about to even waste my time but I guess I've just had enough and want to stand up for where I live. I have lived in Edgewood since 7th grade and my family has NEVER had a problem here. I grew up playing outside, walking to the park, pool or store and I never have felt scared. Yes there are some not so nice parts but you have that everywhere. It just really disappoints me that so many people in Harford County like to judge people or places. The sad thing is most people have no clue and they hear one thing and jump on the band wagon with everyone else. People get offended for many reasons. Take into consideration that maybe the fact that someone lives in an area that you consider to be so terrible is because they can't afford a better area or because like me they have never had any problems. I'll be honest I have seen things happen in Bel Air and when I was in high school and even now in college I have heard students from the Bel Air area talk about some stuff that would shock people especially their parents but I don't go around sharing that with people because I know what it feels like to have your "home" constantly put down. As far as going through here at night if it's that bad why would you be driving through here to know & would you really offer to drive others through to see for themselves? no. The Edgewood I hear so many describe is seriously like some made up place it's ridiculous. Just remember no where is perfect & if you don't know don't judge.
Proud to be liberal July 19, 2011 at 08:03 PM
Brittany: I could not agree with you more. I can tell you this: I live in a very nice section of Bel Air. Large individual homes, etc. I am stating this because one of my neighbor’s kids was arrested and convicted of drug dealing. The sheriff’s office raided the house with a team of deputies just like on TV. He went to prison and served his time. All of this is to say: you can’t generalize about neighborhoods or parts of Harford County. The people who do are ignorant and, in my opinion, should be recognized as such (or worst.) You will find crime in every social stratum. In fact, what could be more criminal that the thief of billions of dollars by banks, mortgage companies and oil companies? Please don’t judge all rich people by the criminals among them and perhaps they will not judge all other people by their address.
Brittany July 19, 2011 at 08:13 PM
Thanks glad someone is with me! I try to never judge anyone for any type of reason. I like to think that I'm a very friendly person who get's along with just about everybody and anybody from all walks of life and I'm proud of that. I respect people's opinions but it's just sad that so many people are this way today and now I see it being passed onto their children who I go to school with. It's sad but glad to know I am the way I am and I feel much better after getting that off my chest =)
Proud to be liberal July 19, 2011 at 08:22 PM
Brittany: You seem a very fine young woman who I would welcome into my home and neighborhood.
Brittany July 19, 2011 at 08:29 PM
Why thank you that means a lot to me and I'm glad you would considering I spend a lot of time in Bel Air already haha. I think it is still a nice area no matter what people say, think or make it out to be. Hopefully others who are not as nice as you will someday realize that by putting other places and people down it is really only making themselves and where they are from look bad and I wouldn't want that for anywhere but especially Bel Air because like I said I think it is a nice area.
Gina Kazimir August 15, 2011 at 01:50 PM
I've lived most of my adult life in Maryland, the bulk of that time in Harford County. My husband and I own a home two blocks off Main Street in Bel Air, which these days means right near some of the police activity. Has crime increased in the 11 years we've owned our home? Yes. But in that time the economic situation has turned upside down, heroin and designer drugs have proliferated in "nice" schools and homes, and the general civility of public life has crumbled. Yet Harford County IMO remains incredibly safe. Are there areas of Edgewood that are less safe? Yes, one would be an idiot not to recognize that poverty and lack of opportunity create more desperate, and less safe environments. Are there areas of Edgewood that are home to amazing, impressive people. Of course! Are there giant homes in wealthy Jarrettsville where drug use is rampant? Sure bet. The reality is that crime is increasing everywhere in direct proportion to increasing frustration and lack of opportunity. Yet to call Harford County unsafe is amusing to me. I grew up in Central NJ, a 45 minute commute into NYC. Yet even in that old NYC - where crime was a much more common moment by moment occurrence - being street smart made it safer. So lock your doors, look around you a bit more, and enjoy the lovely verdant county we live in. Crime will happen everywhere - that we are still capable here of being shocked by it speaks well to the efforts of our citizens and law enforcement.
Gina Kazimir August 15, 2011 at 01:55 PM
And, Brittany, thank you for pointing out that location does not dictate character. Situations can make it more difficult for someone to achieve, but they don't make it impossible. To paint any one area, or group, with the same brush is to ignore its humanity. Good for you for reminding us of that!
Mike March 07, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Folks wake up this isnt your old country BEL AIR anymore. Its more populated then ever which is a good thing. Crime is going to happen everywhere. It isnt Baltimores fault it isnt edgewood or anyone elses fault. when more people get around more things will happen period. Get out in the community and help people instead of putting them down ...

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