Department Will Enforce New Animal Shelter Standards

The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners will begin enforcing animal shelter standards and inspecting shelters this year. Additionally, by July 1, 2019, all rooms where animals are housed must have a fire alarm system that will alert authorities of fire or heavy smoke. The standards and inspections apply to all shelters except private or commercial kennels unless they receive funding from the State Spay & Neuter Grants Program Notice from the Maryland Department of Agriculture:…

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Mayor Selects Michael Harrison for Baltimore City Police Commissioner

Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh has selected New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison to serve as Baltimore City Police Commissioner. The Baltimore Sun reports: Pugh said Harrison has “achieved clear, compelling and consistent results” in reducing violence while deploying “proactive and effective policing strategies that reflect 21st century, constitutional policing,” and would bring the “insight and sensitivity needed to reestablish essential trust and confidence of citizens in their police officers.” A separate Sun article provides background on…

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From Weeds to Wells to Wellness Local Health Departments are Always on the Job

Local Health Departments (LHDs) play a broad and critical role in protecting the public's health. As attendees to the MACo Winter Conference session, "Protecting the Public's Health: Weeds to Wells to Wellness," learned the full scope of what they do and the health and economic impacts they have on local communities is not always evident.   Kevin Sumner, President of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)  set the stage with a  look…

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Opioid Questions Asked and Answered at #MACoCon Round Table

The MACo Winter Conference closed out with an interactive round table session that provided an opportunity for audience members and panelists to share insights and answer questions related to what's working, what's not, and what is next for the opioid crisis. The first half of the session was a Q&A between facilitator Nastassia Walsh, Program Manager, National Association of Counties (NACo), and panelists Steve Schuh, Executive Director, Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC); Birch Barron, Deputy Director, Opioid…

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Breaking Behavioral Health Barriers Behind Bars and in the Communities

Attendees of the MACo Winter Conference session, Who's Falling Through the Cracks: Addressing Gaps in Behavioral Health Services, heard frank discussions from panelists on the scope of behavioral health issues in local communities as well as what is being done what more is needed to close gaps in addressing behavioral health issues. Much of the discussion centered around the criminal justice population. Dan Martin Senior Director of Public Policy for the Mental Health Association of Maryland (MHAMD)…

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County Human Services Deliver Seamless Support for Community Members in Crisis

At the MACo Winter Conference session, Constituents in Crisis: Human Services to the Rescue!, audience members learned about the broad continuum of county agencies and programs that are dedicated to providing community-based services to address the special needs of children, families, older adults, and persons with disabilities. Christine Kay, Director of the Carroll County Department of Citizen Services started the panel off with explanation of how county human service agencies (also known as citizen services or community…

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Diversity Caucus Installs 2019 Board at #MACoCon

The Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus (Diversity Caucus), a chapter organization of MACo, installed its 2019 Executive Board at the MACo Winter Conference. The 2019 Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus Board: President Craig Rice (Montgomery County Council Member), First Vice President Craig Mathies (Somerset County Commissioner), Treasurer Deni Taveras (Prince George's County Council Member), Second Vice President Sharon Green Middleton (Baltimore City Council Member), and Secretary Opel Jones (Howard County Council Member). The Diversity Caucus provides…

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No Public Safety Agency is an Island…Partnerships are Key!

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…

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Anne Arundel Makes Funding and Operational Changes to Contracts with ICE

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman has announced changes to the county's relationship with ICE. Notably, he has ended the county's participation in the 287(g) program, but will continue a separate ICE detainee contract for humanitarian reasons, with plans to use a portion of the revenue from that contract to fund detainee legal aid in immigration hearings. The Baltimore Sun reports on the cancelled 287(g) program and the separate detainee contract: The 287(g) program allows…

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Prince George’s Court Program Focuses on Reentry and Reducing Recidivism

An article in The Washington Post highlights Prince George's County Court Reentry Court Program. Started in 2013, the Re-Entry Court is one of only two such programs in the state. Through the three phase program individuals who have been convicted of crimes and incarcerated are released early under supervision and provided a range of treatment and support services -- substance use and mental health treatment, life skills and relationship building, education and job training --…

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