MACo’s Winter Conference Will Focus on Public Safety and Policing in the Modern Age

MACo’s WiHyatt Regency Chesapeake Baynter Conference will be held December 9-11, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, MD. The conference theme is “Mission: Public Safety” and will focus on policing in the modern age and how new technology can enhance communications, coordinated response, and public relations during response to routine emergencies and regional catastrophes.

The MACo Conference Planning Committee is anticipating two on-topic general sessions. One of these sessions will be a discussion about body cameras, radio communication, and legal/liability issues. This session will explore the potential for technology such as body cameras to enhance accountability, with a realistic assessment of the costs of data storage and consideration of practical limitations on data sharing and privacy rights. This session will also describe how technologies such as Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD), automated Records Management Systems (RMS), and interoperable radio systems are already enhancing public safety and accountability.

The second general session will be a look at the role of media and communications in public safety. Whether in preparation for, or execution of, a public safety event — communication among government actors and with the public are an essential priority. The discussion will also focus on how  social media is transforming modern emergencies of all kinds, including natural disasters, pandemics, and public safety threats. This session will explore how social media is used by the public, by the media, and by first responders to gather and disseminate information in the critical moments during an emergency.

As a closing session, the Committee is planning to offer an “after-action” session on lessons learned from the civil unrest in Baltimore, from actors both within and beyond the City’s borders. The session will serve as an opportunity to hear some of the key lessons learned from the emergency response to the events surrounding the death of Freddie Gray.

As always at Winter Conference, the incoming MACo President and Board of Directors will be installed for an annual term and important new sessions will be offered for credit through the University of Maryland’s Academy for Excellence in Local Governance.

More details will be announced soon, but for now, please save the date of MACo’s Winter Conference: December 9-11, 2015.

To submit a proposal for a session for this Winter Conference, please email Virginia White with a brief description of the proposed session and any suggested speakers. Proposals must be received by September 21, 2015 to be considered.