Are You Prepared? Keeping Your Workplace Safe and Secure

As defined by The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) a “workplace violence” incident is a verbal, written, or physically aggressive threat or attack intended to intimidate, cause injury or death to others in a place of employment. Every workplace is in danger of experience occupational violence, but what can be done to mitigate the risks and reduce hazards? In December, join MACo for a panel session hosted by the Human Resources Affiliate for an in…

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Next Generation 9-1-1 Core Services – What Does This Mean for Maryland?

Motorola Solutions will host a session on Next Generation 9-1-1 progress and how it will impact Maryland at MACo’s Summer Conference as part of MACo’s Solutions Showcase. MACo’s 2019 Summer Conference, “Winds of Change,” will take place on August 14-17 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD. Nearly 3,000 individuals from across Maryland will gather to discuss advancements and changes being seen at all levels of government, from cybersecurity to Phase III…

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Mixed Reaction Over Federal Deportation Program in Montgomery

Beginning in September, Montgomery County is expected to start participating in a federal deportation program. Known as the Secure Communities program, fingerprints of individuals brought to county jails are scanned and stored in a database that are later sent to the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If it is determined that an individual is in the country illegally, they are turned over to ICE officials and face possible deportation.   Opinions vary throughout the State on whether the program adds additional stress to the police force and encourages racial profiling. The Gazette reports:

Councilwoman Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring said she has drafted a resolution opposing the Secure Communities program, which she and leaders in Montgomery’s minority community say could alienate immigrants and lead to more crime.

“The problem with this initiative in other jurisdictions is that it has led to real concerns with racial profiling and increased mistrust in the community overall,” Navarro said.

Navarro said she was shocked to learn last week that Montgomery County — where a third of the state’s Hispanic population lives — was expecting to implement the federal program.


Session Update: Public Safety Legislation

This post summarizes the status of various public safety bills that MACo either considered or took a position on. Correctional Training Commission:  SB 63 is a departmental bill that grants the Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services increased control over the appointment of the executive directors and staff  for the Correctional Training Commission and the Police Training Commission.  Status:  After opposition from MACo and local corrections administrators, the Secretary withdrew the bill and pledged to work more…

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Appropriations Committee Approves Budget Plan: Rejects Pension Shift, Finds One-Time Funding for Local Roads, Reduces Assessment Shift

After a marathon 9 hour decision meeting, the House Appropriations Committee approved its plan to modify Governor O' Malley's proposed FY 2012 budget.  As a part of their plan the House Committee restored funding for education, raised motor vehicle titling and vanity plate fees to generate revenue for transportation, and modified other program reductions and transfers. The Committee also took actions to change retiree health benefits and modify the employee and teacher pension systems. The…

DLS Recommends Additional County Reductions and Cost Shifts

In its presentation before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and the House Appropriations Committee on HB 72/SB 87, the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) offered additional recommendations that, if adopted, would further reduce county budgets.  These recommendations are summarized below. Administrative Charge for Users of State Retirement Agency Provision as Recommended by DLS: Change the revenue source of the agency’s expenditures from the pension trust to a charge of the State agencies and local…

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New Parolee Responsibility Shift Proposed for Local Jails

In its budget analysis of the Maryland Parole Commission, to be heard as part of the House Appropriations budget hearings today, the Department of Legislative Services is recommending a shift of certain oversight responsibilities to local jails. From the DLS explanation: A variety of operational issues exist with providing parole-eligibility for local inmates, including inadequate caseloads and poor communication between state agencies and local correctional facilities. The result is a costly and inefficient system that…

MACo Supports “Message Bill” on Local Jail Sentencing

MACo Associate Director Les Knapp joined two local wardens, George Hardinger from Carroll County and Art Wallenstein from Montgomery County, to support SB 118 before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Wednesday. SB 118 would require state-sentenced inmates with terms over 12 months be sent to state correctional facilities. Under current law, inmates with sentences up to 18 months may be sent to serve their time in local correctional facilities. (Read the bill's Fiscal and…

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New Traffic Ticket Rules Take Effect January 1

As a result of the passage of legislation during the 2010 Session (HB 829/SB 560), Maryland motorists who receive a payable traffic ticket on or after January 1 must affirmatively request a trial in the District Court of Maryland rather than having one automatically scheduled.  This is standard practice in the rest of the continental United States and will save millions of dollars annually and allow courts and law enforcement officials to focus on more critical issues. …

ACLU and Other Groups Challenging Stop and Frisk Laws

A November 4 Washington Post article highlights challenges that are being posed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other groups to the "stop and frisk" policies of Philadelphia and New York City. A civil liberties group filed a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging the use of "stop and frisk" searches by Philadelphia police, alleging that the policy is violating the rights of blacks and Latinos who have done nothing wrong. The American Civil Liberties Union of…