April and May of 2007 have brought about two homicides in the same neighborhood. I also saw a blurb in the Howard County times about a meeting discussing gang activities in Oakland Mills. Now those of you who are from big cities thus sounds like nothing. Columbia has always and will always have residents who don't take these things lying down. Howard County has a very capable police force who can get all the funding they need to tackle these crime problems unlike other Maryland jurisdictions. There have been three homicides in Howard County in 2007 one was solved and then there are the two that occurred in the Hannibal Grove/711 area. I grew up in Vantage Point area which is just across Little Patuxent Parkway from Hannibal Grove and the 711. I have been robbed, assaulted, mugged, and jumped almost exclusively from residents of that area. They were a part of that drug ring I mentioned above. When it comes to bad areas of Columbia I don't stay away from them. Columbia is my once and future home and I'm not going to let a few rotten apples scare me away. Many hardened Columbia residents share my same sentiment. Columbia is not a "Stop Snitchin' " community.
Those who committed these two homicides will be identified that much I'm sure of. Whether an arrest will be made I'm not sure of. Lack of evidence may not allow an arrest to occur. As for the Hannibal Grove neighborhood I think it's at a crossroads. Many current residents are fed up and are going to move. Like I've said before many older Columbia rental complexes are in the redevelopment stage. I think it's time for Hannibal Grove to be knocked down and rebuilt. The new neighborhood will be garden apartments and town homes just like it is now. However, this time around it will contain a mixture of market rate home ownership, market rate rental, with a small number set aside for subsidized rental and home ownership. Bringing home owners to the area will create a sense of stability. The pedestrian bridge connecting Running Brook Elementary to the community will be torn down too, in its place will be a traffic light at Columbia Road and Brook Way and a crossing guard during school hours. It's a hot bed for crime and deals. I think a brand 711 should also be built. This new store should be next to the Running Brook Neighborhood Center and the current building should be turned into locker rooms for the pool. Running Brook pool will be completely redone to the likes of newer CA pools.
I think a brand new mixed income community will stabilize the community and Columbia as a whole. When it comes to redevelopment proposals in Columbia Hannibal Grove is just the tip of the iceberg.
*Just a little update they made an arrest in both cases the person committed both homicides. I knew they'd be caught but I didn't think one person was responsible. The next little problem brewing is possible gang activities in Oakland Mills and Long Reach. I'm confident this will be dealt with swiftly seeing as Columbia has always been able to keep crime under control in the past.