Gov. O'Malley hosts Better Choices, Better Results forum On Maryland public safety initiatives
Baltimore News Journal

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ANNAPOLIS – Governor Martin O'Malley last week hosted Maryland's Better Choices, Better Results forum on public safety and homeland security.

This was the fourth in a series of sessions designed to foster an ongoing, collaborative dialogue on establishing a stronger middle class and safer neighborhoods in Maryland.

Over 200 stakeholders joined the Governor, cabinet officials, members of law enforcement and other policy experts to discuss the significant progress made under the O'Malley-Brown Administration's strategic goals.

“There are many facets of security– security of our homeland, security of our neighborhoods, security of our homes,” said Governor O'Malley. “Together, with elected officials, law enforcement and policy professionals at every level of government, we're working every day to strengthen security and make better choices to get better results for Maryland families.”

The forum highlighted several key initiatives in achieving the governor's strategic goals in the areas of public safety and homeland security. Currently, the state is on track to meet the goals of reducing violent crime and cutting the number of violent incidents against women and children by 2018, and better coordination on homeland security efforts by 2016.

The Safe Streets initiative brings together law enforcement and other local agencies across the state to stabilize neighborhoods, remove offenders, and make local communities better places to live, work, and raise a family. In Annapolis and Salisbury, it has led to double-digit reductions in violent crime.

The Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) closely monitors more than 2,600 of the state's most violent offenders using GPS technology. If those individuals offend again, they are quickly apprehended by police and community supervision agents from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and again put behind bars.

Through the Criminal Justice Dashboard (CJD), police officers and investigators across Maryland have access to approximately 100 databases covering a variety of crimes. The dashboard allows law enforcement instant, real-time access to information essential to apprehending criminals and saving lives. The License Plate Recognition (LPR) system allows law enforcement officers to find stolen vehicles with remarkable speed and track vehicles used in crimes as the drivers try to elude law enforcement.

Pawn shops and precious metals dealers across the state are linked to law enforcement through the Regional Automated Property Identification System (RAPID). If a thief tries to pawn stolen property, police are notified. The material can be returned to its rightful owner, and investigators can track down the suspect.

“Improving public safety and reducing the number of people impacted by crime in Prince George's County is a top priority for my administration. Our success over the last few years is due to the collaborative environment we have created in the County across all agencies and departments as well as the support we have received from the O'Malley-Brown administration,” said Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “I want to thank Governor O'Malley and his public safety officials for investing in Prince George's County to improve public safety and other key areas that will enhance the quality of life for our citizens. We have worked diligently to reduce overall crime to its lowest levels in over 30 years, and we have maintained this low number for the last two years. This is a major achievement for the County and the State.”