At the MACo Winter Conference General Session, The Life Saving Power of Public Safety Partnerships, county emergency managers, correctional officers, and law enforcement discussed the role they play and the collaborations they form to protect communities from all sorts of dangerous situations – from active shooter encounters to weather disaster response and recovery.
Clay Stamp, Director of Emergency Services for Talbot County and a Senior Emergency Management Advisor to Governor Larry Hogan, kicked off the panel with an overview of emergency management response and the partnerships local emergency managers form with state agencies and other local governments to respond to emergencies. Clay who had also previously served as the Executive Director of the Opioid Operational Command Center, discussed the opioid crisis and the approach of addressing it from an emergency management perspective to help break down silos and increase coordination between state and local forces.
Director of Dorchester County Emergency Services Anna Sierra gave a more specific look into important but not so obvious partnerships emergency services form with other agencies. Sierra stressed that partnerships do not only exist during times of crisis. She provided local examples including how in Dorchester emergency services partnered with other county agencies on the Heritage Area strategic planning process, the Transportation Development Plan, the Comprehensive Plan, and the bacteria monitoring in county waterways.
Mary Lou McDonough, the Director of Prince George’s County Department of Corrections, discussed the critical role corrections play in public safety. She shared anecdotes from the day to day 24/7/365 operations of a county jail that demonstrated the emergencies they regularly encounter and the ways they work to keep inmates in staff safe. McDonough discussed how corrections partners with law enforcement to address and help solve crimes from behind the walls, and community partners to assist offenders with transition into the community and a better path in life.
Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler centered his presentation on active assailant events and how police officers receive critical assistance and support from a range of partners including EMS in the immediate response to an event and community stakeholders in preparation for when one may unexpectedly occur. He shared recent examples of actual assailant events that occurred in the county and how they worked with partners in real time in response to those events.
The session was moderated by MACo Board Member and Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner and held Thursday, January 3, 2019.
The MACo Winter Conference was held January 2-4, 2019 at the Hyatt in Cambridge, Maryland. This year’s theme was, “Charting the Course.”