by Lisa Tome
Not every sex offender is listed on the national registry.
"Just recently, some offenders were removed from the registry. These people are blending back into society," said Rising Sun police chief Chip Peterson.
The chief and the mayor had a meeting of the minds.
Following a class which he took at the Maryland Municipal League Convention last month, Mayor Travis Marion said the town and the police department are teaming up to build awareness about Stranger Danger.
"We have a lot of kids who walk the streets, if they are approached, we want them to know what to do," said Mayor Marion.
He said that taking the class at convention made him aware of the statistics from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children. "The facts were staggering. And then I researched it more in depth and I found out 20,000 children are taken annually by family members," said Marion.
Rising Sun's police officers have started talking to children more about stranger danger.
The campaign will be conducted not only on the streets with children and officers, the town will also use social media and the town website to build awareness. There is also information and literature available at town hall.
"This is really simple. Teach your children to not walk alone, parents should walk with them and see the routes they are taking. Talk to them about abduction," said the mayor.
This campaign will run during July and August. Marion said that just makes sense. "The kids are off for the summer. There are more kids on the streets," he said. "I just want to be proactive. Rising Sun is a safe community but one abduction is one too many," he said.
"This isn't something really new to us. But we recognize the need to bring more awareness to it," said Chief Peterson.
In other business from the Town of Rising Sun:
• An initiative is underway to get drivers off Route 1 and into town. Mayor Marion wants road signs placed along Route 1 which would direct drivers to town businesses and restaurants. Specifically, he'd like shops mentioned by name. The mayor said that if nothing else, he will settle for signs directing drivers that there is gas and food available in Rising Sun. "I want to encourage people to come here. That's a lot of traffic," said the mayor. He wants the signs either at Tome Highway and Slicers Mill or at Red Pump Road and Walnut/Mount streets.