Baltimore City Names New Director for Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice

Baltimore City Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young today announced Tamika C. Gauvin as the new director for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ), effective December 17, 2019. The MOCJ advises the Mayor on all crime reduction and criminal justice matters. MOCJ strives to reduce crime in Baltimore and enhance the perception of public safety by developing and implementing crime reduction strategies and programs. “Reducing violent crime in Baltimore City is a top priority of…

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Preview the 2020 Session “Big Picture”

A compilation of Issue Papers previews major fiscal and policy issues facing the General Assembly in the year ahead. This resource is a handy guide to the top issues that your legislators will be tackling in 2020 – a great preparation document for county officials in advance of meetings with their local Delegations. Developed by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS), the 2020 Issue Papers are an annual staple for the Annapolis policy-inclined population. They are also…

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Workgroup: Adult-Use Cannabis Legislation Not Ready for Prime Time in 2020 Session

The leaders of the Maryland General Assembly's Marijuana Legalization Workgroup have indicated that they will not be endorsing legislation legalizing recreational use of marijuana for the upcoming 2020 session. Rather, the group will continue to study and work through the remaining legalization issues for a possible path forward in Maryland. The Baltimore Sun reports: “I think the consensus is: We are not recommending legislation this session to legalize adult use,” said Del. Kathleen Dumais, who…

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New Funding for Rape Kit Testing to Help Police Departments

Police Departments across Maryland are eligible for new state and federal funding to help process rape kits. In recent years police departments have reported a significant backlog of cases. The Baltimore Sun reports: The funds include $3.5 million that is part of a new state fund for testing, plus a portion of a $2.6 million federal grant that also will help track kits and support survivors. And Baltimore County recently received a private $300,000 grant from a…

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City Police Commissioner Announces New Use of Force Policy

Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison has released a new 15-page use of force policy. The policy, which went into effect on Sunday, covers 11 core areas and is centered around reducing and resolving conflict. From The Baltimore Sun: At Tuesday’s press conference, Harrison said officers completed “several modules” of online training courses and 16 hours of in-class, scenario-based training. Additional training on use of force will be provided to officers next year. .. The…

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County Executive Seeks Stricter Security Rules to Prevent Stolen Guns

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. is proposing local legislation to create new licensing and security requirements for gun shops and temporary gun shows. The Secure All Firearms Effectively (SAFE) Act is scheduled to be introduced at the December 16, 2019, Baltimore County Council meeting. The goal of the bill is to better protect against burglaries where guns are stolen and end up in the hands of criminals or on the black market. Gun shops…

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Hogan Paroles Three Lifers, Convicted as Juveniles

Governor Larry Hogan has granted parole to three juvenile lifers -- the first time a Maryland governor has granted such parole in 24 years.  More than 300 people are serving life sentences in Maryland for crimes committed before they were 18 years old. Under Maryland law, an inmate serving a life term that is eligible for parole may only be paroled with the Governor's approval. Of the three individuals that were granted parole -- two…

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FCC Deals “Major Setback” to 9-1-1 Location Accuracy

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday adopted new rules designed to improve location accuracy for wireless 9-1-1 calls in multi-story buildings. The Order adopts a vertical -- or "z-axis" -- location accuracy metric of ±3 meters relative to the handset for 80% of indoor wireless 9-1-1 calls. According to the FCC, "This accuracy metric— within three meters above or below the phone—will more accurately identify the floor level for most 9-1-1 calls and is…

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Legislator Seeks Alternative Prison Release Protocols

Delegate Paul Corderman is searching for a solution to address the number of individuals released from state prison that end up in the local community surrounding the prison. He plans to reintroduce a bill to remedy the issue but is also exploring other avenues such as partnering with local detention centers. The Herald-Mail reports: Corderman, R-Washington, said he will again introduce a bill next year requiring the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to…

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