"A 25-year-old man was shot Monday evening in downtown Silver Spring, Montgomery County police said.The shooting was reported about 6 p.m. in the 8600 block of Colesville Road, near the AFI Silver Theatre and the City Place Mall.Police said the man told them that he had just left a Gold's Gym in the area when two men tried to rob him on a sidewalk. They said he was shot in a leg, and taken to a hospital."
For all the grief that Ellsworth gets, it's Colesville Road in front of City Place where I've seen the worst of Downtown Silver Spring - getting circled by a bunch of kids hustling for change, watching a mentally disturbed woman break the windows of the mall with a baseball bat. Not sure what it'll take to clean up this particular block - and please, don't tell me the shooting had something to do with people waiting at the bus stop there.
Hopefully this is the last shooting we'll hear about in Downtown Silver Spring, though that seems kind of naïve. Last spring's "riots" on Ellsworth had everyone on edge for a while, but hopefully this won't be enough to keep people from returning to the area. If you're thinking about staying home next weekend, remember: the streets are safest when lots of people are around, no matter how intimidated a few thugs want you to feel.
Keep in mind that DTSS is far safer, on a per-capita basis, than most rural communities. One of those little-known facts about life in the USA is that the murder rate in small-to-midsize towns is far higher than that in the cities.
That being said, it doesn't matter where you go. Nature abhors a vacuum, as it were, and that's true of society as well.
Why did Willie Sutton rob banks? "That's where the money is," said the infamous criminal. It's always been the case that where people feel safe is where criminals go to prey on them. Do lions wait for prey as far from the game-trails as they can get? Of course not! They wait at the watering holes.
The more safe the reputation of a place, the more likely that the hardcore criminals will be attracted. The more traffic there is, the more likely you are to get certain kinds of crime. The MetroRail stations are fairly safe because they spend massive amounts of money on security and the stations were designed with security in mind. You can't say that about a corner bus-stop.
All that can be done is to mob the place with cops, and if you take them off patrol in one place to put them in another place, you're just playing whack-a-mole.
Why I care, I don't know, I never go to DTSS. Maybe I am just feel compelled to belabor the obvious: times are tough and the DTSS streets are rough.
Metro may spend lots of money on security inside the stations but it takes no responsibility for the walkways to the stations. The Maryland Transit Administration is taking the same attitude towards the Purple Line. It will be up to the county to light the extension of the Capital Crescent Trail from 16th St. to the Silver Spring station for instance. Downtown merchants also are going to have to take more responsibility to provide security or see their customers stay away. Coincidentally, the Council's public safety committee on Thursday will be considering the recommendations of the Safe Silver Spring Summit.
president North Woodside Montgomery Hills Citizens Association.
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