Harford County to Host Free Citizen Emergency Preparedness Training

The Harford County Department of Emergency Services (DES) is hosting a series of free Citizen Emergency Preparedness Training Courses beginning next month. In order to help citizens feel more prepared in a wide-range of potential disasters and emergencies, Harford County has developed the Prepare Because You Care (PBYC) citizen training class. From Harford County's website: Prepare Because You Care (PBYC) is designed to address preparedness for a wide-range of disasters and emergency situations. PBYC classes…

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Baltimore County Passes SAFE Act for Gun Store Security

Spurred by a spat of gun store burglaries, Baltimore County has passed the Secure All Firearms Effectively (SAFE) Act. The act sets security standards for gun stores and sets a license requirement for temporary gun shows. The Baltimore Sun reports: The proposal would require gun shops and shows to install alarm systems registered with the county and video systems. Shops also would have to install bollards or another physical barrier to prevent burglars from using…

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Counties Propose Amendments to Pretrial Tool Reassessments

On Tuesday, January 21, MACo's Executive Director Michael Sanderson delivered testimony to both the Senate and House to support with amendments SB 68  Criminal Procedure - Pretrial Release - Pretrial Risk Assessment Instruments (Cross Filed with HB 49).  While counties believe it is important to use evidence-based tools that are effective, efficient, and equitable, this year's version would still have onerous and unnecessary financial and operational impacts that may unintentionally undermine the ability for county…

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Washington County Approves Firefighter Staffing Plan

The Washington Board of County Commissioners today voted to authorize the final planning and implementation for the Division of Emergency Services' regional staffing plan. This plan will deploy firefighters in four strategic locations across Washington County. "Today, more than ever, supporting our emergency responders is a top priority. Perhaps, on the worst day of your life, our emergency responders are there to answer your calls. Providing the mechanisms and necessary funding is paramount to provide…

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Montgomery Invests $25 Million in New Fire Engines

The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) is putting into service a brand new fleet of 23 fire engines. The fire engines - which cost about $900,000 each - were funded through multiple cycles of the County's Capital Improvements Program. https://twitter.com/mcfrsPIO/status/1210683401252036608 The new engines are smaller and lower to the ground, which improves maneuverability, enhances safety, and offers better ergonomics for firefighters. According to Bethesda Magazine: More than half of the county’s 40 stations…

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Mismatched Crime Data Yields Unclear Priorities

A disturbing analysis of mismatched and apparently incorrect crime data, as collected and compiled by the federal and state governments, leave Maryland policy makers without a clear sense of  current priorities and policy effectiveness. An in-depth analysis by Capital News Service, hosted on the MDReporter.com site, shows that Maryland crime data - seemingly an obvious building block for policies and investments in public safety - is rife with inconsistencies and outright errors. From their article: In…

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Federal Grants to Help Baltimore Region Fight Crime

Baltimore City and Baltimore County have been awarded $4.6 million in federal grants to help fight crime. WBAL reports: The funding is going to 11 different initiatives in Baltimore city and county to fight crime, opioid abuse and enhance community policing. It's considered part of a comprehensive strategy to fight crime and keep Baltimore City and Baltimore County citizens safe. Maryland's U.S. senators and congressmen announced $4.6 million in federal grants. The funding was announced…

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Harford Sheriff Forms Board to Improve Community Relations

Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler wanted to build better relationships with community members and provide a way for people outside of law enforcement to share their perspectives on the agency and its officers. To do so he has launched the Sheriff’s Community Board which is modeled after similar successful groups that have been put together over the years to help provide input on the office's operations. The Baltimore Sun reports: The 18-member group met for…

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