2018 Legislative Handbook Series – An Indispensable Reference

The Department of Legislative Services has released its quadrennial Legislative Handbook Series, a deep and useful reference series that encapsulates nearly every issue of government at the state and local level. The series may be downloaded or viewed online for free at the links below: Legislative Handbook Series: Vol 1 – Legislators Handbook Vol 2 – Government Services Vol 3 – Revenue Structure Vol 4 – Budget Process Vol 5 – Personnel, Pensions & Procurement…

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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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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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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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Measure Twice and Cut Once When It Comes to Emergency Response

An educational session at MACo's Winter Conference reveals best practices for requesting and providing assistance across jurisdictional lines during emergencies. Maryland's Senator JB Jennings lead a panel discussion of emergency management response to disasters that overwhelm the capabilities of any one jurisdiction. Jennings himself serves in the Maryland Air National Guard. The first panelist, Maryland Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Russ Strickland described the structure of response -- and how federal, state and county resources…

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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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Federal Prosecutors Launch “SOS” Program to Pursue Fentanyl Cases in Baltimore

In an Op-Ed in The Baltimore Sun, U.S. Attorney for Maryland, Robert K. Hur, explains a new initiative his office is launching to ramp of federal enforcement of criminal fentanyl distribution cases in Baltimore: Under this program, every arrest in Baltimore for fentanyl distribution will be reviewed jointly by the State’s Attorney’s Office for Baltimore City, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Maryland to determine whether the case will be prosecuted in…

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Q&A Showcases How Counties Partner and Prepare for Emergencies

You've got questions, Kevin Aftung, Director of the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management has answers. From 911 systems to floods and active shooter events, Aftung provides an emergency manger's expert answers to pressing questions in the December 2018 COG Quarterly Magazine: Ask an expert showcases an innovator in the Baltimore region who is at the pulse of his or her industry through a Q&A. We sat down with Kevin Aftung, director of the Anne…

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Anne Arundel Appoints New Fire Chief and Detention Center Superintendent

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman has named Spokane Fire Department Assistant Chief Trisha Wolford as the county's Fire Chief -- the first woman to serve in that role. Wolford succeeds Fire Chief Allan Graves who retires at the end of the month. The Baltimore Sun report: The appointment of Wolford is a homecoming. She began her fire service career in Anne Arundel County in 2006, serving for 10 years in the fire department as…

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