Public safety is a core mission of government that is taken seriously by Pocomoke City's mayor and council. We have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in technology dedicated to thwarting and reducing crime in our city. This includes a bank of 24/7 targeted surveillance cameras monitored by police personnel. We have also focused efforts on building strong ties and relationships with our young people, in particular those deemed to be "at risk."
This has been done through direct support of the Save the Youth Organization, the Salvation Army Youth Programs, and a host of grant funded programs created and administered by our police department. We are the only municipal government in Maryland to be consistently recognized and awarded each year by the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention for these efforts.
We are an active partner with our local schools and were thrilled last week when Pocomoke Middle School received national recognition as one of the top schools in the nation. Principal Caroline Bloxom and her staff represent everything that is right in fostering a protected, learning environment for our young people. She provides them with hope and a future.
Pocomoke City takes a multi-faceted approach:~A new comprehensive master plan for growth and development
~Comprehensive zoning review
~Housing enforcement review
~Downtown economic development
~Targeted industrial development
~Engineering studies of critical infrastructure needs.
Considering our city's future needs, we are reviewing options for construction of a new police department facility. Our existing facilities provide a full gymnasium for use by local nonprofits; we are examining ways to continue providing this service. Once all options are identified, they will be discussed openly at a regular meeting of the mayor and council.
With local investment in our downtown, including the Mar-Va Performing Arts Theater, Delmarva Discovery Center, new Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Sturgis One-Room Schoolhouse, Costen House and the new riverfront restaurant breaking ground in the spring, it is no wonder new businesses are locating here.
City Hall will remain in its historic location, downtown, irrespective of any potential move by the police department. The city's commitment to a thriving downtown is self-evident.
I recently attended a celebration honoring Bishop Isaac Jenkins for his 50 years of service as pastor at New Macedonia Baptist Church. One can learn much from the dedication and commitment the reverend has displayed over five decades. He always focuses on that which is "good" and "positive," encouraging us to do the same.
Anyone can throw stones, but it takes vision to see how each stone can be used to build up a community. Pocomoke City has been blessed with citizens who gather and build up "the friendliest town on the Eastern Shore."