New Course Trains High School Students to Be 9-1-1 Telecommunicators

Students in Anne Arundel County will participate in the country’s first-ever program aimed at training high schoolers to be 9-1-1 telecommunicators. Glen Burnie High School is set to launch the program next year, which will focus on teaching students how to respond to a person calling 9-1-1 in distress and how to operate the technology in today’s 9-1-1 centers.

According to The Baltimore Sun:

Twenty-two applied to take “Police Communications: Entry Level Call Taker Training,” a yearlong elective class that includes classroom instruction, simulations and visits to the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s 911 dispatch center.

The 15 who are selected will learn computer-aided dispatch software; mapping location skills; and laws, policies and procedures for taking, screening and dispatching calls, according to the course description.

The Anne Arundel County Police Department, who proposed the program, hopes the class will help to fill vacancies at its 9-1-1 call centers, as well as 9-1-1 call centers across the state. High stress, training standards, and long hours have led to a nationwide shortage of 9-1-1 telecommunicators.

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. HB 634/SB 285 – Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland – Establishment, a 2018 MACo Legislative Initiative, urges a statewide effort to guide this critical transition, harnessing public safety industry leadership and expertise to address complex public safety concerns that will help Maryland prepare for the deployment of a statewide Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) system that our residents expect and deserve.

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. Governor Hogan signed the legislation into law on April 24th.

At this year’s MACo Summer Conference, learn best practices for assessing, planning, and developing maintenance routines to keep Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data NG911 compliant.

Calibrating the Compass: GIS in a Next Gen 9-1-1 World

Description: Most 9-1-1 centers determine a mobile caller’s location based on technology that was adopted two decades ago…before cell phones were equipped with GPS. Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) will deliver more accurate location data – similarly to how apps like Uber can pinpoint your exact location – which will allow calls to be routed to the correct jurisdictions faster, potentially saving lives. NG911 will rely on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for call routing, call handling, call delivery, location validation, and emergency response. At this session, county leaders will discuss best practices for assessing, planning, and developing maintenance routines to keep GIS data NG911 compliant.


  • Jack Markey, Director, Division of Emergency Management, Frederick County
  • Kathy Lewis, GIS Specialist, Fire and EMS Communications, Charles County
  • Patrick Callahan, GIS Manager, Office of Information Technology, Prince George’s County
  • Matthew Sokol, GIS Program Manager, Maryland Department of Information Technology

Moderator: The Honorable Cheryl Kagan, Maryland State Senate

Date/Time: Thursday, August 16, 2018; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference will be held Aug. 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center, in Ocean City, MD.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Different, Better, Faster, More…Do UAS Taking Flight in Maryland Demand Changes to Law?

A Work Group reviews the types and applications of UAS (commonly called drones) in Maryland while considering any needed changes to State law for the technology and its use by members of the public.

The Unmanned Aerial Systems Work Group met this week at the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center, hearing two presentations. The first presentation was from Rodney Likin, Special Operations with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Rodney shared a detailed and gripping account of the interception of a plat to fly contraband into a maximum security prison in Western Maryland via drone.

This large unmanned aerial system (UAS) can fly at speeds of up to 80 mph.

The second presentation was by Detective Charles Russell, Prince George’s County Police Department, who showed and described to the UAS Work Group a range of unmanned aerial systems (commonly called drones) and their capabilities.

The UAS Work Group saw UAS of various shapes, sizes, and capabilities at its recent meeting.

The Work Group, which includes MACo and county representation, must produce a report for the Governor and General Assembly on revisions to law needed to confront expanding use of UAS.

At this meeting and in previous meetings, the Work Group discussed:

  • Law Enforcement education needed to help in identifying and reporting incidents of misuse of unmanned aerial systems (UAS)
  • State and local coordination with the FAA and the limitations of federal and state enforcement capabilities
  • Whether there may be changes needed to definitions of trespass or nuisance to accommodate UAS
  • Whether there may be a need to protect those who stop UAS intruding on their property from liability for costs of damages to the UAS
  • Whether to change definitions of critical infrastructure in State code, and consider the applicability of FAA regulations to all critical infrastructure in Maryland, and to maintain local authority over the definition of critical infrastructure.
  • Recent legislation passed in Virginia on UAS

For more information, see MACo Explores Government Applications for DronesIncidents of Unsafe Use of Drones Will Shape Report & Recommendations.

Counties Gather Answers for the Call for Next Generation 9-1-1 Service

County budget and public safety representatives assemble this week to determine data and information to support the work of the Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland, which will report in December.

MACo called a work group this week of County Public Safety Answering Point Directors, Emergency Services Directors, and County Budget and Procurement experts and a Public Safety Communications Specialist to begin assembling information to support the work of the Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland. The Commission will be appointed this year and it first report will be due in December, 2018.

The Commission’s December report must cover seven subjects, the first of which, is the needs, both capital and operating, to bring efficient and effective Next Generation 9–1–1 technology and service across Maryland, and estimated costs required to effect this priority outcome. This first item was the subject of discussion yesterday.

The group identified existing information on capital and operating needs, and delved into the difficult topic of identifying future personnel needs that will be associated with a transition to new technology, and with providing enhanced services to the public.

The ability of Emergency Communications Specialists to access more accurate call location information more quickly, and to employ new data gathering techniques, such as receiving text and video data from those who contact 9-1-1 is the aim of Counties governments who are eager and committed to making Maryland a leader in implementation of Next Generation.

Steve Souder, a nationally recognized authority on 9-1-1, participated in the meeting of counties this week. Souder is representative of the Association of Public–Safety Communications Officials International Mid–Eastern Chapter, member of Maryland’s Emergency Number Systems Board, and the former Public Safety Communications Director of Fairfax, Virginia. According to Souder, the establishment of the statewide Commission will place Maryland ahead of other States in its work toward a coordinated transition of all counties to Next Generation 9-1-1.

Green is the New Black

At this year’s MACo Summer Conference learn how correctional training and environmental programs intersect to build marketable job skills and improve communities in the process.

Title: Green is the New Black

Description: Local jails operate numerous programs where inmates can receive training along with marketable skills that are geared toward improving the ecology, quality, and beauty of the state’s waterways and surrounding communities. Rain gardening and landscaping, water retention pond maintenance, and oyster habitat restoration are just a few of the programs that connect environmental protection and job training. In this session, learn more about how these programs are a success for the individual inmates as well as the communities that benefit from their newly acquired skills.


  • Robert Green, Director, Montgomery County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Marsha Bailey, Director of Re-Entry and Transition Services, DPSCS
  • Lori Lilly, Director, Howard EcoWorks

Moderator: The Honorable Charles Sydnor, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Friday, August 17, 2018; 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm

The 2018 MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Keeping Cars Off the Boards Ain’t Cheap

Safety comes at a price. Unfortunately, Ocean City’s came in four times over budget.

In an effort to protect vehicular attacks on pedestrians on the boardwalk, the town looked into closing off all access points. Originally estimated to cost about $1 million, the plan is now estimated at more than $4.26 million. The town is looking at ways to reduce the cost without undermining utility.

Delmarvanow covers the story:

The project was originally proposed last fall after multiple deliberate attacks on pedestrians involving vehicles occurred in cities across the United States and abroad. In the last four years, at least 15 such attacks have happened around the world, according to USA Today.

Review the Fiscal 2019 Capital Budget for Projects in Your County

The Summary of the FY 2019 Capital Budget as Enacted produced by the Department of Legislative Service provides accessibility to the details of the State’s capital funding.

State agencies receive funding though the State’s capital budget, and their funding is sometimes specifically allocated to projects or operations in particular counties. County governments also received capital funding from the State for specific projects.

The Summary of the FY 2019 Capital Budget as Enacted is easier to read than other documents associated with the capital budget, and may be searched for a particular county or type of project.

The need for school construction funding to keep pace with education requirements and the need for resources for local jails and detention centers struggling with the opioid epidemic are two focus areas for Maryland’s counties focus.

The FY 2019 capital budget provides line-by-line detail of $7.3 million capital funding for local jails and detention centers and $313.9 million in capital funding for the Public School Construction Program, in addition to other public school construction grants.

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This excerpt from the Summary of the FY 2019 Capital Budget as Enacted shows a breakdown of capital funding for local jails and the beginning of the list of state school construction funding.

For more, see the Summary of the FY 2019 Capital Budget as Enacted.

State Revs Up Corrections Recruitment Efforts

Acknowledging a years-long problem with understaffing at state correctional facilities, the State Division of Corrections plans to step up its recruitment efforts.

The Division continues to hold job fairs and testing all around the state, and most recently announced that it plans to hire a private recruiting firm to fill vacancies.

Herald-Mail highlights frustration from unions, correctional officers, and state elected officials relating to the staffing shortage:

“I don’t understand why we’re having this conversation for three years in a row,” Patrick Moran, president of Council 3 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, told Herald-Mail Media on Thursday. …

“What I’m getting is there’s frustration from the correctional officers with the administration and the union,” Del. Mike McKay, R-Washington/Allegany, said. “They feel their concerns are not getting to where they need to go.

“The staffing shortage is unacceptable,” he added.

Last session, the General Assembly included a number of provisions in the budget related to Corrections’ understaffing.

Grant Alert! GOCCP Releases NOFA for Pretrial Services

The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) has released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Pretrial Services Program Grant (PSPG):


The purpose of this program is to assist counties in the development, implementation, and improvement of pretrial services programs that reduce the size and cost of pretrial detention populations on the county level, reduce recidivism, and improve public safety outcomes, specifically the safety of victims and witnesses. Additionally the program establishes a consistent standard of best practices across all grant funded pretrial release services.


House Bill 447 of Maryland’s 2018 Legislative Session established the Pretrial Services Program Grant Fund. Chapter 771 was approved by the governor on May 15, 2018.

Funded Categories

Contractual services, equipment, operating expenses, other, and personnel

Eligible Entities

County government agencies, local courts, local detention centers


FY 2019 PSPG Application Guidance Kit

Online submission deadline: July 17, 2018 at 3 pm. 

For more information visit the GOCCP PSPG webpage or contact:

Quentin Jones
Program Manager
Phone: 410-697-9318


Justice Schisler
Chief of Programs
Phone: 410-697-9334

All Hands on Deck: Cybersecurity for County Governments

A demonstration of a cyber attack on a 9-1-1 Call Center and information on resources for counties will educate county officials on how to confront cyber threats at MACo’s Summer Conference.  

County government networks possess a wealth of valuable personal information, including Social Security numbers, tax ID numbers, health information, and other sensitive data. This makes county government employees at every level potential targets for online pirates looking to steal sensitive information. Even well-meaning and internet-savvy employees may fall prey to inappropriate release of data…with multiple consequences.

At MACo’s Summer Conference, attendees will see a demonstration of what can happen to a 9-1-1 Call Center during a cyber attack from the Maryland Air National Guard and Maryland Defense Force. Attendees will also hear from leading cybersecurity firms how counties can work with their employees to keep all data and critical infrastructure safe. The Center for Internet Security will share free tools available to county governments seeking to assess their cyber preparedness. An Israeli-based firm Radiflow will present cyber-security solutions for infrastructure including public water and wastewater systems, transportation and energy systems.

Speakers for the Summer Conference session include:

  • Ryan Spelman, MPA GSLC GCCC, Senior Director, Business Development, Center for Internet Security
  • Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Molina, Maryland Air National Guard and Lieutenant Colonel Charles Kendzierski, Maryland Defense Force
  • Ilan Barda, CEO, Radiflow

The Honorable Edward Reilly, Maryland State Senate will moderate this panel.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Northeast Counties Focus Next Call on Human Trafficking Issues

The National Association of Counties shares a presentation on human trafficking by the Department of Homeland Security on the monthly northeast counties conference call.

Join this month’s call for county leaders from Maryland and other states in the northeast region of the US for a focused update on human trafficking and what counties can to to stop it.

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Department of Homeland Security Video on Human Trafficking


NACo Northeast Regional Conference Call


 Welcome and Introductions

  • Christian Leinbach– Chairman, Berks County Commissioners (PA) / NACo Northeast US Representative

Roll Call by State – Each state will be called and Elected County Officials will be given the opportunity to state their name and county. States: DC, DE, ME, MA, MD, NH, NJ, NY, PA, WV.

 General Legislative/NACo Update – Arthur Scott, Ass. Legislative Director/Political Outreach Manager

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Infographic from the Department of Homeland Security

Blue Campaign(Human Trafficking in the USA) Presentation – Mick McKeown, Executive Director HSAC/Campaign Dept. of Homeland Security

  • What is Human Trafficking?
  • What is DHS doing about it?
  • What can counties do about this?

For background, here is a link to NACo 2014 Study of Human Sex Trafficking in America

For more information, contact Robin Eilenberg at MACo.