Hausner is the chairman of the crime watchdog group Safe Silver Spring and has been a civic activist in Montgomery County for 30 years. What does Safe Silver Spring do?

We're a community-based crime-prevention group. We had a summit in May 2009 ... [and] came up with a series of recommendations dealing with youth issues, dealing with police. ... We've been working with county government and the community to implement those. One is a youth advisory committee, where teenagers would have more of a say over programs they participate in. We had made some recommendations about truancy, since a lot of truants end up getting into crime and gangs. ... Out of that came a recommendation to implement truancy court programs.

What else are you working on?

We're planning to do some surveys where we ask the community what their experiences are with crime, with police. We want to strengthen the neighborhood watch program. We're interested in having more security cameras in both the residential and business districts. We're looking at apartment complex safety.

What are some crime issues specific to Silver Spring?

Because we're near the Silver Spring Metro station, which is becoming more of a transit center, we've become a real hub for teenagers, but also gangs.

How do you get the attention of officials?

We arrange meetings with the county executive and county council members. So primarily through meeting with them, but also through testifying and writing letters and the traditional lobbying techniques.

How did the group get started?

We were experiencing quite a bit more crime, it's gone in waves. It was September of 2008, a number of us were complaining that we had a spike in crime in the past few months, so we said, let's put together a summit to address the issues, and that's what got things started.

Emily Babay