The High-Stakes Fight Against Pandemics and Opioids at #MACoCon

Public health emergencies over the last five years give way to best practices amongst local health departments in preparing for the worries of tomorrow.  County health departments are in a unique position when it comes to managing a public health crisis. There are the obvious consequences such as physical injury and limitations on resources like supplies and medicine in the near term. Additionally, a public health emergency can often involve the less apparent and long-term…

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Building Communities Through Public Safety at #MACoCon

The fabric of public safety infrastructure is woven by officers, emergency responders, corrections staff, and the courts - all who bear the monumental task of making sure citizens feel protected.  The element of security in a neighborhood allows residents to thrive as individuals but also helps create space for neighborhoods to take the next step into actually building community. Safety provides the peace of mind for pivotal elements of human connection to flourish such as…

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Attorney General Releases First Report on Officer-Involved Fatalities

The Independent Investigations Division of the Attorney General's Office has released its first full-year report on progress, protocols and complications of the new law. The Independent Investigations Division (IID) was established by Maryland law in 2021 and was further refined during the 2022 legislative session. The office is tasked with investigating any officer-involved incident resulting in the death or imminent fatality of a civilian and is led by Dana Mulhauser, Chief of the IID. From…

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St. Mary’s Data-Driven Approach to Targeting Food Insecurity

While food insecurity in St. Mary's County has increased over the past two years, officials now have a clear look at where exactly targeted solutions need to begin. This Tuesday, St. Mary's County and The Healthy St. Mary's Partnership (HSMP), released a 21-page report on food security in their jurisdiction. The report uses local data as well as community and stakeholder input to get a geographically informed picture of the problem. The report also includes…

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Guaranteed Income – Modern Applications of an Old Idea in Montgomery and Baltimore City

Almost every guaranteed income recipient is spending the majority of the money on food, other supplies, and bills, but long-term outcomes are still untracked at scale. Guaranteed income is an idea that has been around for a long time and is currently being studied across the globe, and frankly has been for some time. Americans might know the concept from Thomas Paine in 1776, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1967 or from Andrew Yang…

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From the Ground Up: Implementing Police Accountability at #MACoCon

State and County officials come together to discuss a new era of police accountability in Maryland as sweeping legislation continues to roll out across the state.  The Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 established a sprawling matrix of entities that are meant to investigation and establish consequences for police misconduct. At the county level, three-tiers of oversight were established: Police Accountability Boards, Administrative Charging Committees and Trial Boards. Additionally, on the state level, the Attorney…

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Maryland Braces for Flu Season with Trifecta of Respiratory Viruses

Maryland is ranked in the second most severe category out of fourteen on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's influenza severity chart and top seven nationally.  According to both the statewide influenza database and the CDC, Maryland is experiencing an early onset and severity of flu cases expected to be the worst in over a decade. The current 7-day positive rate for COVID-19 is almost double what it was this time last year at…

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Baltimore City Sues Contingent of Tobacco Companies

In a unique move, Baltimore City files a lawsuit against six named entities for cigarette filter waste.  According to a press release, Baltimore City has jointly filed a lawsuit to hold cigarette manufacturers accountable for cleanup costs associated with tobacco filter litter. The city cited a $5.3M annual price tag specifically for mitigating cigarette filter litter. The announcement went on to highlight that remediation includes clearing sewage and drainage pipes of clogs from the non-biodegradable…

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Prince George’s Police Accountability Board Officially Convened

The first two meetings were held last week as police misconduct oversight bodies begin work in Prince George's and across the state.  Many police accountability boards have been filled with eager candidates and appointees who will play a role on one of three new entities required by each county in the oversight and management of police misconduct.  Prince George's held its first two meetings last week. The time was spent mainly on getting the group…

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Help Your Health Department Help You at #MACoCon

County Health Officers share best practices to maximize collaboration and efficiency with your health department, especially in times of crisis.  The concurrent emergencies presented by COVID-19, monkeypox, opioids, and mental health needs has triggered a seismic increase in reliance on local health departments to keep the public both informed and safe. The urgency of these issues often overshadows all the other vital functions of these indispensable institutions that must remain intact in the midst of…

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