Community Safety Work Grant Applications Open

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is administering three separate Community Safety Works grant opportunities. Applications are now being accepted for the state’s second round of grant funding for the Community Safety Works program. The program seeks to improve the livability and economic potential of Maryland communities through targeted investments in crime prevention that impact community safety. “Community Safety Works is an initiative that engages local leaders to create partnerships and plans to…

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Expanded Move Over Law Takes Effect Saturday

October has been declared as Move Over Awareness Month in recognition of an expanded law taking effect on Saturday to protect all road users. The expanded Move Over Law (SB147) requires drivers to move over or slow down when approaching any vehicle that is stopped or parked and displaying hazard warning lights, road flares, or other caution signs. The expanded law is in place to protect law enforcement, emergency responders, and any motorist who may encounter…

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Public Safety Funds for Mental Health

Join the National Association of Counties (NACo) for a webinar discussing the use of "Public Safety Funds to Support Community Members' Behavioral Health" on Wednesday, October 12, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST. Law enforcement officers are often the first responders when a person is experiencing a behavioral health crisis, but some public safety leaders are trying to change that. From mental health clinicians to peer navigators, sheriffs and police chiefs across the country are…

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Carroll Selects Police Accountability Board Members
Carroll County Board of County Commissioners - courtesy of the Maryland Manual On-Line Left to right: Dennis E. Frazier, Stephen A. Wantz, Edward C. Rothstein, C. Richard Weaver, Christopher E. Bouchat.
Carroll Selects Police Accountability Board Members

On Tuesday, September 27th, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners confirmed five members to the county’s first-ever police accountability board (PAB). Under the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021, counties must establish PABs, Administrative Charging Committees (ACCs), and trial boards. PABs will receive complaints of police misconduct, review police disciplinary trends, and work with local law enforcement to improve policing. ACCs will receive investigatory reports of police misconduct and determine levels of discipline, whereas trial boards will…

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FEMA Awards Washington County $1.9M for Lifesaving Equipment

In collaboration with the Potomac Valley Volunteer Fire Company, the Washington County Division of Emergency Services received a $1.9 million Regional Assistance for Firefighters Grant (AFG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fund equipment for firefighters. "On behalf of the entire Board of County Commissioners for Washington County, MD, I extend our appreciation to Potomac Valley Volunteer Fire Company for your efforts to assist our County in obtaining a FEMA Grant Award," said…

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Montgomery State’s Attorney Tours Schools, Warns of Ghost Guns

On Saturday, September 24th, Bethesda Magazine published a piece chronicling Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy's efforts to educate students on gun safety issues, focusing on ghost guns. The State's Attorney is visiting each of Montgomery County's 26 high schools to “educate [the county's] high school students about how to keep schools and students safe.” Gun seizures have risen in the last year, with "907 guns [having] been seized in the county as of Sept. 11,"…

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Police Redistricting Moves Forward in Baltimore City
Baltimore City's Neighborhood - courtesy of the Baltimore City Health Department
Police Redistricting Moves Forward in Baltimore City

The Baltimore City Council has moved legislation modifying its police district boundaries to third reader, the final step before requiring Mayor Brandon M. Scott's signature. Council Bill 22-0257, entitled "Police Department of Baltimore City - Police Districts - Redistricting," became necessary after, in 2019, the Maryland General Assembly required the Baltimore City Police Commissioner to draft a police redistricting plan within one year of a decennial census conducted by the United States Census Bureau. Under…

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Police Reform Update: Trial Board Training Takes Shape

Following July's letter from the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission (PTSC) outlining training standards for Administrative Charging Committees (ACCs), the agency has once again issued a letter - this time focusing on training for Trial Boards. Under the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021, PABs review and oversee police misconduct complaints from the public, ACCs receive completed investigatory reports of police misconduct and determine levels of discipline, and trial boards hear appeals of any recommended discipline. In…

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Baltimore County Confirms Police Accountability Board Members

On Monday, September 19th, the Baltimore County Council provided near unanimous consent to County Executive Johnny Olszewski's nine nominees to the County's first-ever Police Accountability Board (PAB). As discussed in previous Conduit Street coverage, under the 2021 Police Accountability Act, each Maryland county must create several police oversight bodies, including an administrative charging committee (ACC), PAB, and trial board. PABs review and oversee police misconduct complaints from the public and ACCs receive completed investigatory reports…

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Correlation or Causation? Connecting Gun Laws and Suicides

In observation of Suicide Prevention Month, a recent Governing article identifies a strong correlation between state gun laws and elevated gun suicide rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its first-ever report on firearm deaths in May of this year. According to the CDC, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the conditions underlying gun violence, including "changes and disruptions to services and education, mental stress, social isolation, and economic stressors, including job loss,…

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