As prepared for delivery
Colonel Brown, Lieutenant Woodward, Fire Marshall Barnard, Secretary Collins,…
It’s an honor to be joined here today by Police Commissioner Frank Noonan of the Great State of Pennsylvania.
It is great to be here in Hagerstown. A little earlier today we had the chance to meet with Commissioner Noonan as well as our partners from West Virginia to discuss ways, by working together, we can improve the safety and security of this entire region, and of our three states.
Ultimately, our ability to keep our people safe comes down to the dedication, the courage, the generosity, the determination of the men and women of law enforcement.
We are a free and diverse people, united by certain values we share, among them our belief in the dignity of every individual, our belief in our own responsibility to advance the greater good, and our understanding that there is no such thing as a spare Marylander or a spare American.
And therefore our strength, our character, and our ability to make progress on any and all of our priorities – highest among them being to create jobs,… it depends on our ability to improve public safety in every part of our State.
Improving Public Safety in Every Part of our State
We have set big goals in our State for reducing violent crime 20%, and reducing crimes against women and children 25%, by the end of 2012.
Working together with the brave men and women of law enforcement, we are making significant progress toward improving the safety and security of our communities:
Together with the men and women of law enforcement we’ve driven homicides down to the lowest rate in three decades. And so far this year, we’ve lost more than 21% fewer Marylanders to homicide than we had at this point in 2011.
Together, with law enforcement, we’ve driven violent crime down to the lowest rate in three decades.
Because of our work together, we’ve lost 38% fewer juveniles to homicide since 2006. And so far this year, we’ve lost 37.5% fewer juveniles to homicide than we lost in the corresponding period in 2011.
But our work is not done. That’s why your state government chose to invest in this Maryland State Police Western Operations Center. This new facility will serve as a barrack, and it will also house an expanded Forensic Sciences Laboratory, the State Fire Marshall’s Office, and a large training classroom.
All told, this new Operations Center more than doubles the size of the facility it is replacing.
For a free people who are united by the dignity of every individual, the loss of even one life touches us all. And therefore, our cause endures, our work remains, and our commitment is steadfast: to improve public safety in every part of our State. Thank you all very much.