By Ken Rossignol
LEXINGTON PARK (September 9, 2013) — For much of the last forty years, winos, bums and vagrants have been hanging around the downtown section of Sin City, otherwise known as Lexington Park, the boulevard entrance to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
The following arrest is the most recent in hundreds, if not thousands of such arrests that have taken place over the years.
On September 7, 2013, members of the Lexington Park COPS Unit observed Alexandra Spencer Barnes, 56, of Lexington Park, loitering in Millison Plaza. Barnes, who the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department report was exhibiting signs of alcohol impairment, was issued a notice not to trespass.
Barnes returned to the area about ten minutes later and approached Sgt. Clayton Safford holding an open box cutter style knife. Police say that Barnes was given orders by Safford who had drawn his service weapon, to drop the knife to which he complied, and was arrested without further incident. Barnes was charged with trespass and assault.
While tax dollars are spent housing the bums and winos in the Three Oaks Shelter and the jail, more money is spent processing the arrests through the legal system. But not all the money flow is in one direction.
The winos and bums are a money-maker for the liquor stores and the shopping centers that rent to them. A steady stream of money from welfare checks, panhandling and petty crime is cycled through the hands of the bums to the liquor stores.
While taxpayers paid out over $4 million for the recent makeover of Great Mills Road, adding tree-lined median strips, the winos and bums found them no barrier to their daily pursuit.
The St. Mary’s County Alcoholic Beverage Board, to their great credit, closed down a particularly large source of the trouble on Great Mills Road several years ago, but several others remain
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