National Study Highlights Anne Arundel County’s Public Safety-School Partnership

November 18, 2014

This fall, the Council of State Governments Justice Center presented a white paper on school discipline to the Maryland State Board of Education.  During the presentation, Emily Morgan, Senior Policy Analyst with the Justice Center, mentioned the need for partnerships between schools and  public safety, noting the Anne Arundel County as a leader in this area.

The School Discipline Consensus Report: Strategies from the Field to Keep Students Engaged in School and Out of the Juvenile Justice System states,

The Anne Arundel County Police Department is the fifth largest police department in Maryland, with approximately 660 sworn officers. Of these officers, 21 of them, along with two sergeants and one lieutenant, make up the School Resource Unit. Members of the SRO [School Resource Officer] unit are employees of the police department, which provides all salaries and training. The police department hosts a large central command whereby all SROs and county officers report to a single location to facilitate coordination, training, and information sharing. Given the decentralized nature of SRO work, having a central command provides opportunities for direct communications among officers and encourages peer supports.

The agency also has received recognition for its Speak Out software application for smart phones, which allows students to anonymously report incidents. Because of challenges in
convincing students of the anonymity provided, overlapping reporting systems are also promoted, such as a student safety hotline. Posters and materials with QR codes help students to reach out using the technology they are most comfortable with.

Many Maryland county governments provide school resource officers at their schools. According to data from the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, County Sheriff’s Offices provide school resource officers in Calvert, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Queen Anne’s, and Wicomico counties.  And county and/or city police provide school resource officers in Anne Arundel, Dorchester, Howard, Allegany, Caroline, St. Mary’s, Montgomery, Washington, Baltimore, and Prince George’s counties and Baltimore City.  There are about 302 school resource officers statewide and the majority of them are provided through police departments.

For more information, read the full report and these previous posts on Conduit Street, Montgomery Posts School Resources Officers at Every High SchoolBaltimore County Begins $9.8M School Security Expansion and the fiscal and policy notes from SB807 (2013) and HB20 (2014).

These additional white papers of the Council might also be of interest to county governments:

MACo President Tom Duncan Honored for 57 Years of Public Service

November 18, 2014

2014 MACo President and longtime Talbot County Council Member Thomas G. Duncan was honored by scores of colleagues, friends, and family at a stirring celebration in Easton on November 16.

County Council Member Thomas G. Duncan has led a dedicated and committed career of public service:Tom Duncan

  • Soldier, 3rd Infantry Division 1957-1959
  • Maryland National Guard 1959-1960
  • Member, Maryland State Police 1960-1984
  • Member, Talbot County Council 1986-1993
  • Talbot County Sheriff 1993-2002
  • Member, Talbot County Council 2002-2014
  • Member, Maryland Association of Counties 1986-1993/2002-2014

Additionally Mr. Duncan has served as President of the Maryland Sheriff’s Association, member of the Governor’s Task Force on Gambling, Maryland’s Police Training Commission, Governor’s Advisory Council on Recycling, S.S. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church and President of the Parish Council, Knights of Columbus, Elks Lodge #1622, Talbot County Business Round Table, Easton Rotary, Talbot County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Maryland Troopers Association, Board of Directors of the Talbot County Arts Council, Board of Directors of the Easton Academy of the Arts, Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society, Board of Directors of the Izaak Walton League, and Board of Directors of Talbot Partnership.

Mr. Duncan plans to retire at the end of the current term, so a reception was held on Sunday, November 16, 2014 to honor and celebrate his 57 years of public service in Maryland.

Family, friends, the Talbot County Delegation, former and current colleagues gathered to honor Mr. Duncan and thank him for his service and commitment to not only Talbot County, but to the people of Maryland. The Talbot County Council presented Mr. Duncan with a plaque for extraordinary service, Senator Richard Colburn and Delegate Addie Eckardt both presented him with proclamations of gratitude from their respective chambers, and MACo presented Mr. Duncan with a framed and engraved portrait of Annapolis.

Mr. Duncan’s commitment to serving others has proven to be instrumental to the people of Talbot County – many speakers at the event commented on his conservative fiscal policies and his leadership on efforts such as maintaining the current location of the Easton hospital and the passing of smoking legislation in the county. Across Maryland, Mr. Duncan’s leadership as President of the Maryland Association of Counties has helped to open doors and further conversations among counties and county stakeholders so that all can collaborate more effectively for the people of Maryland.

MACo is thankful for Mr. Duncan’s service and leadership.

DEADLINE APPROACHING: Academy Grad Course on Advanced Public Finance Through the University of MD

November 18, 2014

The Academy for Excelleacademylogonce in Local Governance is offering a course for Graduates of the Academy certificate program. The course, entitled “Advanced Finance for Public Officials,” will be offered in two parts – the first on December 5, 2014 and the second on May 8, 2015. Both parts of the course will be taught at the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) offices in Hanover, MD. Registration deadline is December 1, 2014. Register today!

This interactive workshop will focus on the following:

  • Understanding the critical elements of long-range financial planning in an era of dwindling and uncertain resources.
  • Providing an opportunity for attendees to “deep dive” into one of three public finance concentrations:
    • Human Resources
    • Infrastructure Finance
    • Intergovernmental Financial Relations
  • Developing strategic actions for applying acquired knowledge of best practices to the unique fiscal circumstances of your county or municipality.

Registrants must attend both days of the course to receive a certificate of completion from the University of Maryland. Application deadline is December 1, 2014. Early registration is encouraged; seats are limited to 25. The registration fee is $250 and the course is only available to graduates of the Academy certificate program.

For additional information, please view the flyer and application form or contact Academy Registrar Aisha Washington at 301.314.2641 or

The Academy for Excellence in Local Governance is a continuing education certificate program co-founded by MACo and the Maryland Municipal League (MML), sponsored by LGIT, and offered through the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. This voluntary certificate program provides a foundation of skills for local government officials and staff. For county participants, 8 Core Courses and 6 Elective Courses must be completed to earn a certificate – all courses are offered at MACo, MML, and LGIT conferences and events. Graduates of the program are eligible to participate in advanced topic courses such as the Advanced Finance for Public Officials course, which are offered several times each year. For more information on the Academy, please view our website.

Hogan Still Eyeing Tax Cuts Despite Shortfall

November 18, 2014

Although Maryland’s troubling state budget outlook may make it more difficult, Governor-Elect Hogan indicates he still plans to pursue reductions in spending and taxes.

As reported by the Baltimore Sun,

Gov.-elect Larry Hogan said Monday that new budget figures show Maryland’s economic picture is even bleaker than he had warned during his campaign, and will make it tougher to devise a plan to cut taxes.

However, as reported by Channel 4 news, Hogan “remains committed to pursuing tax relief” in the first year of his term.

Hogan, a Republican, said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press that he would consider calling a special session next year to do more work on the state’s finances, if that’s necessary.

An opinion piece in the Baltimore Sun indicates that Governor-Elect Hogan may take a more thoughtful approach as he develops his plan for spending reductions and cutting taxes.

Mr. Hogan advanced by far the most responsible and prudent approach to the budget and taxes of any of the candidates in the Republican primary, and he made it through the general election without a lot of specific promises that might foreclose his options as governor.

In an interview with the Baltimore Sun’s editorial board, he elaborated more on his approach.

He reiterated his view that spending cuts must come before tax cuts — this would seem obvious, but apparently it isn’t among conservative ideologues like those who have driven Kansas’ economy into the ditch during the last few years. And he insisted that he would approach cutting the budget “in a deliberate way.” He said he doesn’t think that there are departments or major programs that should be eliminated, and he rejected the idea of across-the-board spending cuts. The first order of business, he said, was to conduct independent, outside audits in “a reasonable, cautious approach.” He said he did not want to “make wild promises, but I want to run government more efficiently so we have money to bring tax relief and can free up taxpayer funds for top priorities.”

Many Workers Are Near-Minimum-Wage Workers

November 18, 2014

As reported by Pew Research Center, there are about 20.6 million people — 30% of all hourly, non-self-employed workers 18 and older who earn more than the current minimum wage but less than the $10.10 hourly rate that emerged over the past year as a consensus goal of many Democrats and labor groups.

Maryland’s General Assembly voted to raise Maryland’s statewide minimum wage to $10.10 per hour this past legislative session.  The Governor signed the bill into law, which phases in increases in the minimum wage over several years. At this year’s MACo Winter Conference, representatives of Maryland’s county human resources offices will be discussing the effect of the new minimum wage law, and the recent recession on wage compression and hiring for county government employment.

For more information on near-minimum-wage workers, see the full story from Pew’s Research Center, Where near-minimum-wage workers work, and how much they make.  For information on Maryland’s new minimum wage law, see our previous post on Conduit Street, Maryland Governor Signs Minimum Wage Law.

To learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference:

Questions? Contact Meetings & Events Director Virginia White.

Phosphorus Rules Issued, May Take Effect January

November 18, 2014

A closely watched and controversial set of environmental regulations were officially submitted by the Maryland Department of Agriculture on November 12, and will be published in the December 1 Maryland Register. This starts the process of their adoption, which (by this specific timing) could occur before Governor O’Malley leaves office in January.

From coverage in the Daily Times online:

New regulations to limit farmers from polluting phosphorus into the Chesapeake Bay could be implemented before Gov. Martin O’Malley leaves office in January.

The proposed regulations outlined by the phosphorus management tool were submitted Friday for inclusion in the Dec. 1 Maryland Register and for legislative review. By submitting them Friday, the rules can be placed into effect by the Maryland Department of Agriculture before Gov.-elect Larry Hogan is sworn into office on Jan. 21.

The state legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review will have 45 days for review and comment, after which, the department can then implement the regulations.

Read the full Daily Times coverage online.


Public Health Threats: What Every Public Official Should Know

November 18, 2014

MACo’s Winter Conference will be held January 7-9, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, MD. Themed “The Road Ahead,” the conference will focus on county government fundamentals, building relationships with newly elected officials at the county, state, and legislative levels, and strategic planning for the coming years. The session  “Public Health Threats: What Every Public Official Should Know” will focus on the fundamentals of the public health departments and their role in protecting the health of county citizens.


On a daily basis, Maryland’s twenty-four local public health departments serve on the front lines to protect and ensure the health of their residents and communities. Whether it is headline-making diseases like Ebola and Enterovirus D68, or more common health threats such as influenza, rabies, Lyme, hepatitis, or foodborne and waterborne illnesses, Health Officers and their staff fill the important role of helping to prevent, contain, or eliminate these threats. This session will describe the importance of public health, the role of local public health departments in determining their county’s health, and discuss the latest emerging and existing public health threats facing our counties today. The panelists will provide the most current information all county officials and legislators should know.


Gregory Branch, Health Officer, Baltimore County Department of Health and President, Maryland Association of County Health Officers (MACHO)


Thursday, January 8, 2015; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference:

Questions? Contact Meetings & Events Director Virginia White.


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