Grant Will Fund Safety Upgrades In Berlin

Grant Will Fund Safety Upgrades In Berlin
The town will be able to purchase modular vehicle barriers like the one pictured thanks to a state grant. Photo courtesy of Mifram Security website.

BERLIN– Security cameras and other safety improvements are coming to downtown Berlin thanks to a state grant.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development advised  Town of Berlin officials this week that the municipality would be receiving the $76,300 Community Safety Works Business District Grant it applied for. The grant will allow for the purchase of security cameras, barricades and modular vehicle barriers.

“Events are a large part of our downtown,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director. “With everything going on in the world, safety is our number one concern.”

With the town waking up to turned over trash cans and knocked over planters on Main Street Friday, Wells said the news regarding funding for increased security came at the perfect time. She said the town applied for the grant in January and learned this week the application had been successful. She said the bulk of the $76,300 would be used to purchase 12 modular vehicle barriers. She first saw them at a football game several years ago and knew they’d be useful in Berlin during events. The grant will also fund the purchase of 20 security cameras that will be placed in the parking lots and on the main side streets. Police will be able to use an app to monitor the feeds any time, which will make it easier for them to address issues downtown.

“There’s been some instances where if police had security cameras they’d be able to mitigate problems quicker,” Wells said.

In addition to the cameras and the barriers, the grant will allow the town to purchase new barrels and barricades to help with street closures. The ones currently in use are 20 years old and have needed replacement for some time.

Wells said the security enhancements, which she hopes will be in place by summer, will increase safety downtown, particularly during Berlin’s popular special events.

“People have a better time when they feel safe,” she said.

Wells is grateful state officials approved the municipality’s application.

“We’re very happy and I’d like to say thank you to Governor Hogan and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development or offering this opportunity to the downtown business district,” she said. “We are very appreciative.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.