Howard Police Expand Mental Health Unit, Tackle Red Flags

The Howard County Police Department has expanded its mental health unit from one officer and one mental health professional to three officers and one mental health professional to help bolster local efforts to support the state's red flag law. The expanded unit work will work closely with other government agencies to process red flags. The Baltimore Sun reports: Llewellyn said that in Howard, members of the police department’s mental health unit have discussed the process…

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Local Police Battle the Scurvy Scourge of Porch Pirates

A Route Fifty article (2018-12-20) highlighted the efforts of local police departments across the nation to deal with the increasingly prevalent scourge of "porch pirates" - people who steal packages from the front steps or porches of homes. The crime has increased across the nation as Internet shopping becomes more and more popular. The article cited one example in Harford County, Maryland, where a 46-year-old man was allegedly had his five-year-old daughter steal  packages from porches.…

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Who’s Falling Through the Cracks? Addressing Gaps in Behavioral Health Services

Access to treatment for mental health and substance use disorders is a pressing issue facing communities across Maryland. While much efforts is being put towards addressing this issue gaps still remain, particularly when it comes to populations with special needs. Learn more about the challenges and potential solutions at the MACo Winter Conference session, "Who's Falling Through the Cracks? Addressing Gaps in Behavioral Health Services." Title: Who’s Falling Through the Cracks? Addressing Gaps in Behavioral…

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Compromise Criminal Justice Reform Bill Includes Reauthorization of Second Chance Act

Reauthorization of the Second Chance Act would extend funding for local reentry programs through 2023. A Senate floor vote on the bipartisan criminal justice reform bill -- the First Step Act -- which includes the reauthorization of the Second Chance Act, is expected by the end of the year. NACo reports: Since 2009, more than one out of three Second Chance Act awards have gone directly to county governments who have received $95 million over…

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GOCCP Awards Grants to Counties for Pretrial Services

The Governor's Office for Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) has awarded $1 million in grants to 11 counties to help establish or expand pretrial services. As announced in a GOCCP news release: The 11 grants announced will establish new pretrial programs in four counties, bringing pretrial services to a total of 15 counties. Seven counties that already provide pretrial services will receive funding to bring their programs in line with a statewide standard that incorporates best…

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Drone Gathering Abuzz with Interest

A symposium held by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council draws a crowd of more than 200 county and state government, and private sector representatives.    The Baltimore Metropolitan Council hosted an all-day information exchange for county governments interested in learning more about drone technology and collaborating to implement drone solutions last week. State and county representatives, including GIS personnel and transportation officials packed into a hall in Columbia, Maryland to hear the information and share ideas.…

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Harford Public and First Responders Trained in Mental Health First Aid

A collaborative effort between Harford County government and nonprofit agencies,  Mental Health First Aid, offers community members and first responders training to help people in mental distress. The Baltimore Sun reports: Dundon adds that Harford’s Mental Health First Aid is part of a countrywide project overseen by the National Council on Behavioral Health. Participants learn a five-step action plan that begins with assessing for suicide risk and listening to what the person is feeling. The…

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U.S. Surgeon General Promotes Partnerships to Combat Opioid Crisis

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams headlined a summit at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County. His speech focused on the importance of forming and maintaining partnerships to help stem the opioid epidemic. As reported in The Aegis: Adams, keynote speaker for the National Opioid Crisis Community Summit at Aberdeen Proving Ground, also stressed that each person has their own role to play. He said they need to talk with others about drug addiction,…

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Commission to Advance NextGen 9-1-1 Across Maryland Releases Final Report

Nationally,  the key underpinnings of the legacy 9-1-1 framework are based on the same wireline, analog, circuit-switched technology that was the foundation of the original 9-1-1 architecture in 1968. Aside from an enhanced data environment and the ability to support wireless and Internet telephony, the system has not significantly changed in more than 40 years. With advances in technology, the emergency communication networks built four decades ago are becoming less efficient, less technologically advanced and,…

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Maryland Counties Receive Millions in VA Benefits

Thirteen Maryland counties were among the 664 counties nationwide that each received more than $50 million in VA benefits in 2017 within their jurisdictions.  A majority of Maryland counties received more than $50 million in VA benefits, according to the National Association of Counties Analysis of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Data from 2017. Almost all Maryland counties received more than average amounts of VA benefits in 2017 compared to other counties in the US. Here…

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