Access Disaster Response, Debris Removal & Recovery Services with NACo Partner

NACo has connected with the Institute for Building Technology and Safety to launch a new member benefit that will support disaster services for NACo member counties.

Every Maryland county is currently a member of NACo, the National Association of Counties. NACo provides an increasing number of member benefits through programs that seek to extend services and products to member counties at more cost-effective rates through economies of scale.

As reported by the National Association of Counties, to help county governments confronting natural disasters and other emergencies, they have partnered with IBTS, the Institute for Building Technology and Safety.

According to NACo, three counties, including Powhatan County, Virginia has already signed on with IBTS. NACo reports:

 

At no initial cost, NACo members can sign a pre-disaster contract with IBTS, which is only implemented upon action by the county if it faces an emergency. IBTS provides services such as initial disaster response, active disaster recovery (including debris removal management) and disaster recovery administration.

According to IBTS’s business statement:

IBTS partners with government at all levels to provide unparalleled expertise in regulatory compliance, program and service management, and quality engineering services. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we are committed to helping jurisdictions meet the needs of their citizens with greater agility, efficiency, and full transparency.

For more information, see Counties increase disaster preparedness with NACo and IBTS, from the National Association of Counties.

Baltimore City Commissioner Resigns Amidst Tax Charges

Baltimore City Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa has resigned, following the announcement that federal prosecutors have charged him with failure to file federal income tax returns from 2013 to 2015. Mayor Pugh has announced a national search for his replacement, while Deputy Commissioner Gary Tuggle will serve as acting commissioner.

It has not been reported whether De Sousa also failed to file his state income tax returns, but it seems a logical assumption – meaning he also failed to pay income taxes to Baltimore City.

Reports the Baltimore Sun

Despite De Sousa’s admitting to not filing his tax returns, his attorneys have pushed back against prosecutors, saying De Sousa was not given the opportunity other taxpayers receive to explain or file missing returns before being charged criminally.

“Criminal charges are usually a last resort by the government after the tax payer has ignored the government’s warning,” attorney Steven Silverman wrote in a statement.

Reporters and government officials took to Twitter with responses.

Sun Reporter Scott Dance pointed out the irony that the Governor signed SB 1099/HB 561, Baltimore City Police Department – Commission to Restore Trust in Policing and Audit Review, essentially at the same time that De Sousa announced his resignation. The bill establishes the Commission to Restore Trust in Policing, which is tasked with reviewing, investigating, and making recommendations relating to the Baltimore Police Department:

 

School Shootings and School Safety Funding: Data May Define the Best Investment

The vast majority of school shootings are carried out by students who are rightfully on school property, a fact that may inform distribution of new state funding for school safety. 

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This handout from Maryland’s Public School Construction Program shows the types of facility features that will address the issue of school shootings conducted by students – more than 70% of all school shootings since 1966.

Data on school shootings can help guide the best use of funding for improved school security, Maryland’s Director of Public School Construction shared at a recent meeting of school facility planners.

New funding for school security allocated by the General Assembly and Governor will provide an opportunity for facility enhancements. The best uses for that funding may be on controlling access inside school buildings, rather than secured outside doors.

This is according to statistics that show most shootings are carried out by students who belong on the premises, and are already through security checks and inside the building.

For more information about school safety funding see this handout from the Public School Construction Program.

Incidents of Unsafe Use of Drones Will Shape Report & Recommendations

The Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center has gathered incidents of unmanned aircraft systems or UAS required by legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2015.

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MACo is grateful to the MCAC, Maryland’s intelligence fusion center, for their help gathering incidents of unlawful use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

MACo is participating in the work group to develop incident reports of unauthorized use of UAS (commonly called a drone), into a report for the legislature that includes recommendations for any changes to law needed to support local enforcement.

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Development, Regulation, and Privacy Act of 2015, required that the Department of State Police, the Maryland Aviation Administration, local law enforcement officials, and other appropriate local government officials shall:

  1. Review the state of unmanned aircraft system recreational use in the State in an attempt to document incidents or patterns of the unauthorized or unsafe use of unmanned aircraft systems, including use that interferes with State or local public safety efforts or sensitive areas or facilities; and
  2. On or before December 31, 2018, report to the Governor and, in accordance with § 2–1246 of the State Government Article, the General Assembly on their findings and recommendations regarding changes to State law or local regulatory authority needed to support governance or enforcement efforts related to unmanned aircraft systems.

At a meeting at MCAC headquarters yesterday, the MCAC shared a report on the incidents reported to them from state and local law enforcement and other agencies over the past several years. MACo is grateful to the MCAC for assisting in this coordination role.

Based on the work group’s review of the documented incidents in Maryland of UAS interfering with public safety efforts or sensitive areas or facilities, the work group discussed:

  • Coordination between state, local, and federal agencies, including local law enforcement, the Federal Aviation Administration, and State law enforcement.
  • Enforcement options for local and state law enforcement to unsafe and unauthorized UAS use based on current law
  • The possible need for changes to state law to allow local regulation that supports local law enforcement’s ability to stop unsafe uses
  • Opportunities for education of law enforcement officers regarding how to stop unsafe and unauthorized use of UAS
  • Continued streamlined reporting of incidents of unsafe and unauthorized UAS use

The work group plans to meet monthly through December 2018, when the final report is due.

Contact Robin Clark Eilenberg at MACo for more information on this project, or with any interest in participating on behalf of local governments.

Anne Arundel Expands Drug Courts

As the opioid crisis grows, so has Anne Arundel county’s drug court. The court has hired an additional case manager and will consider hiring more if the numbers of eligible participants increases. As reported by The Baltimore Sun:

Hired in February, Fish said the addition will allow the court to handle up to 175 cases at once and officials are considering further new hires as the incarceration diversion program continues to grow.

Started in Nov. 2005 under then-State’s Attorney Frank Weathersbee, the program has quintupled in size since its modest beginnings. Fish said it originally handled 35 cases at one time and was funded by only a federal grant.

For more information read The Baltimore Sun

NFPA Releases Active Shooter Response Standard

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released NFPA 3000 (PS), Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program. Developed with insights from law enforcement, fire, EMS, medical providers, facility managers, private industry, DHS, the CIA, FBI, and others, the provisional standard will help communities cope with mass casualty incidents. It addresses unified planning and offers response and recovery guidance, as well as civilian and responder safety considerations, according to NFPA. The NFPA 3000 is the world’s first active shooter/hostile event standard.

According to a press release:

“The NFPA 3000 process, from start to finish, has been an exceptional example of emergency responders and other safety-focused practitioners swiftly coming together to provide invaluable perspective and address a significant threat in our world,” NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley said. “The proactive, integrated strategies recommended and defined in NFPA 3000 will go a long way in helping communities plan, respond and recover from active shooter and hostile events.”

This marks only the second time in NFPA’s 122-year history that they have issued a provisional standard. Provisional standards are developed in an expedited process to address an emergency situation or other special circumstance.

Read the full press release for more information.

Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. While an active shooter scenario may unfold in various locations, public and government settings are particular targets. This year’s MACo Summer Conference will feature a special session, Active Shooter Response Training, with take-away lessons in safety for all attendees.

Deputy First Class Wehrle of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office will share his insights into active shooter response and the best way to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Wehrle has been with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office since 2008, with eight years of prior law enforcement experience in another local jurisdiction. He is the Sniper Team leader and is also a member of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office’s Community Action Response Team and regularly provides presentations on active shooter preparedness to a range of audiences.

Active Shooter Response Training

Description: Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. While an active shooter scenario may unfold in various locations, public and government settings are particular targets. These terrifying events are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, so individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to survive the situation before law enforcement arrives. In this deep-dive session, a public safety expert will share the best way to prepare for the worst-case scenario with take-away lessons in safety for all attendees.

Speaker: Deputy First Class Thomas Wehrle, Sniper Section Coordinator, Special Operations Division, Harford County Sheriff’s Office

Date/Time: Saturday, August 18, 2018; 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

State Traffic Fatalities On The Rise

Thirty-five more people died in traffic crashes on Maryland roads in 2017 than in 2016, according to preliminary data released by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). This is a seven percent increase – even though vehicle miles traveled only increased by two percent.

In response, the department has issued a “call-to-action to reduce the hundreds of fatalities that occur on State roads each year.” On April 24, MDOT convened a statewide Highway Safety Summit to highlight Maryland’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan. The five-year plan provides strategies to reduce violent tragedies on Maryland roads by 50 percent by the year 2030.

According to Dr. David Fowler, the State’s Chief Medical Examiner,

Half of motor vehicle crash victims have a substance in their bloodstream – alcohol, illicit drugs, and/or prescription drugs that can impair a driver’s ability to control a vehicle.

Learn more about the Toward Zero Deaths campaign here.

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Conduit Street Podcast: Kirwan Commission, Take Two. Fiscal Forecast, Session Resources, & Interim Intrigue

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Kevin Kinnally and Michael Sanderson highlight some of the best resources for information on the General Assembly, provide insight on the [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence In Education (which reconvened this week), discuss Maryland’s fiscal picture, and preview some hot-button issues for the 2018 interim.

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast.

May is Maryland Podcast Month! For more information, visit Marylandpodcastmonth.com.

Listen here:

You can listen to previous episodes of the Conduit Street Podcast on our website.

Carroll Officials Aim to Join State Criminal Intelligence Network

The Carroll County Sheriffs Department and State’s Attorneys’ Office briefed the Board of Commissioners on their intent to apply for a grant from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention to join the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network.

The Carroll County Times reports:

Funding from the grant would create positions for two new intelligence analysts and a prosecutor, as well as provide overtime for all law enforcement partners in the county for an entire year. A budget for related equipment, technology, interfaces and licenses would also be included.

The main goal of the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network — a data-sharing system connecting state-funded initiatives from various counties and cities — is to “break down jurisdictional barriers and enable law enforcement and prosecutors to target entire criminal enterprises” under anti-crime legislation passed in 2016, according to the governor’s office.

Read The Carroll County Times to learn more.

Hogan Signs MACo’s 9-1-1 Initiative Bill

Governor Larry Hogan this week signed HB 634/SB 285 – Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland – Establishment, a 2018 MACo Legislative Initiative that will help Maryland prepare for the deployment of a statewide Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) system that our residents expect and deserve.

Photo Credit: Executive Office of the Governor

Maryland citizens demand and expect 9-1-1 emergency service to be reliable and efficient. Next-generation technology is required to keep up with this increasingly complex public safety function – improving wireless caller location, accommodating incoming text/video, and managing crisis-driven call overflows. Maryland must accelerate its move toward NG911, deliver these essential services equitably across the state, and assure effective coordination with communications providers.

Counties encourage efforts to enhance emergency communications in Maryland. SB 285/HB 634 urges a statewide effort to guide this critical transition, harnessing public safety industry leadership and expertise to address complex public safety concerns. Last week, MACo sent a letter to Governor Hogan urging him to sign the bill. MACo as an organization stands ready work with the Administration and other stakeholders to populate the Commission quickly, so they can begin their important work.

Senate Bill 285, sponsored by Senator Cheryl Kagan, passed the Senate unanimously on February 20. Its cross-file, House Bill 634, sponsored by Delegate Michael Jackson, passed the House of Delegates unanimously on March 15.

Useful Links

Read the full MACo letter online

Read MACo’s testimony on HB 634/SB285

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