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If you search the crime-rate statistics, they will paint a less-than-rosy picture of downtown Hagerstown.  This page addresses the safety issue honestly.

Until the last few years, downtown Hagerstown had not changed for decades.  There were many vacant buildings, and it was a magnet for the homeless and for opioid addicts.  This is what is reflected in the crime statistics.

However, in the last few years, the downtown landscape has changed dramatically.  A few examples:

  • In 2019 the Maryland Theater completed a renovation and expansion, and also became home to the Maryland Symphony Orchestra.  There is now a vibrant arts scene in downtown Hagerstown.  

  • In 2020 the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts will occupy a newly renovated and expanded facility, further adding to the artistic vibrancy of the downtown.

  • In 2005 the University of Maryland opened a branch campus in downtown Hagerstown, renovating an old building, adding to it, and creating a small park called University Plaza.  The campus now serves 300 students.

  • Homes on the historic streets, such as Prospect St. and Summit Ave. are being renovated and bought largely by young professionals.

  • New shops and offices are opening in the downtown.

  • The Collegium will bring another 100 students and summer workshops to the city.

Today downtown Hagerstown is fast becoming an attractive place to work and to live.  The town is active during the day and evening hours, and it is as safe during these hours as any suburban community.

If you wander around the streets at 1:00AM or 2:00AM, especially in certain parts of downtown - which are not near the Collegeium - you may well run into trouble.  If the crime statistics were sorted by time-of-day and specific area, they would show that the overwhelming percentage of crime happens during these middle-of-the-night hours and in particular parts of downtown, hours when students should not be out and where they should not be - just like any town.

Proactive Measures

  • The Collegium has a 10:30PM curfew.

  • The University of Maryland Campus is a secure facility.

  • The residence hall is equally secure, with key-card entry and a door guard during business hours.

  • St. Mary's runs an elementary school and makes sure that all necessary safety measures are taken during the day.

Experiential Data

The president and his wife have been living in the Hamilton Hotel (where students will live) since June 2020.  They are enjoying living downtown, and they have no sense of being unsafe as they walk the streets.

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