Garrett Receives Funding to Combat Youth Substance Abuse

The Garrett County Health Department receives its second year of Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) Local Drug Crisis Grant funding. Initially awarded in 2021 with the help of Congressman David Trone, Garrett is the recipient of a five-year CARA grant worth $50,000 per year. The grant has supported the county's Drug-Free Communities Coalition program, charged with reducing and preventing substance abuse by promoting youth substance abuse prevention strategies. The program includes members of the county's…

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Baltimore City Introduces SMART Policing Efficiency Initiative

Today, Baltimore City unveiled its Strategic Management & Alternative Response Tactics (SMART) initiative focusing on the intelligent deployment of law enforcement resources to more effectively combat violent crime. The initiative includes: Providing Alternatives to the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) – BPD will dispatch alternative responses, including social workers and third-party vendors, to certain non-emergency call types directly and discontinue dispatching to officers. Traffic Accident Management – The city will engage a third-party vendor to respond to…

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Apply for NACo’s Familiar Faces Leadership Network

With support from Arnold Ventures, the National Association of Counties (NACo) invites county and city elected officials to apply to the Familiar Faces Leadership Network.  According to the NACo website, familiar faces—individuals with complex behavioral health needs who frequently cycle through jails, homeless shelters, emergency departments and other local crisis services—often do not have the support needed to ensure treatment engagement and successful outcomes. Counties and cities’ complex social services systems can be fragmented, leaving…

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White House’s National Drug Control Strategy Emphasizes Prevention and Treatment

On April 21st, the White House released its National Drug Control Strategy outlining goals and objectives for the United States to reduce the demand for and availability of illicit drugs. In the document, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) emphasizes a "whole-of-government approach," a part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda, to combat the current overdose epidemic embroiling the country. According to the Maryland Department of Health, in 2021, unintentional opioid overdose-related…

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US Justice Department Offering $40 Million for Community Policing

On Monday, May 9th, the U.S. Department of Justice made approximately $40 million in Community Policing Development (CPD) grants available, along with roughly $5 million for the Collaborative Reform Initiative.  Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta discussed the purpose of the funds in a press release: “Nothing is more important than keeping our communities safe,” said Associate Attorney General Gupta. “Each day, approximately half a million people throughout the United States call 911 for help and there…

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AT&T Launches First-Ever Nationwide Location-Based Routing for Wireless 9-1-1 Calls

AT&T, a MACo Platinum Corporate Partner, is the first carrier to launch location-based routing to automatically transmit wireless 9-1-1 calls to the appropriate 9-1-1 call centers on a nationwide basis. Through this new “Locate Before Route” feature from Intrado, AT&T can quickly and more accurately identify where a wireless 9-1-1 call is coming from using device GPS and hybrid information to route the call to the correct 9-1-1 call center, also known as public safety…

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New Report Highlights Tremendous Stress on Local Health Departments

On April 28th, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) released a report entitled, “2020 Forces of Change: The COVID-19 Edition,” detailing several major COVID-related hurdles for local health departments (LHDs). The report details survey results gathered by NACCHO between October 2020 and March 2021 measuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local public health capacity. Four major findings from the report confirm the many difficulties faced by our LHDs: 51 percent…

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Carroll Builds Its Police Accountability Board

On Thursday, May 5th, the Board of Carroll County Commissioners voted on a resolution establishing its police accountability board (PAB) as required by state law. Each county in Maryland is required to create a police accountability board by the 2021 Police Accountability Act. Under the Act, PABs comprised of entirely of civilian members are charged with meeting quarterly with law enforcement leadership to improve matters of policing and to hear complaints of police misconduct. Each…

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