Governor O’Malley Announces Funding to Serve More than 4,000 Criminal Warrants
Governor O'Malley sets aside Recovery and Reinvestment funding to remove violent criminals from our streets
OCEAN CITY, MD (June 30, 2009) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced before the Maryland Municipal Chiefs of Police Annual Breakfast, that the State will set aside a portion of American Recovery and Reinvestment funding for a Violent Offender Warrant Reduction initiative to reduce the backlog of unserved warrants. This funding could potentially clear over 4,000 warrants, removing violent felons from Maryland’s streets and improving public safety in every area of the State.
“During these tough economic times, critical law enforcement overtime is often reduced or eliminated due to budget constraints, yet the demand for public protection does not relent,” said Governor O’Malley. “There is no greater or more solemn obligation we have as public servants than the protection of our citizens. Thanks to the leadership of President Obama and our federal delegation, local law enforcement agencies have an unprecedented opportunity to cut the backlog of un-served warrants, making our neighborhoods and streets safer for Maryland families.”
“I’ve heard from state and local police around the country that lack of funding means fewer cops on our streets fighting gangs, drugs, and child predators and fewer prosecutions of criminals,” Senator Mikulski said. “That’s why, as Chairwoman of the Senate Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, I fought so hard to put funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support our law enforcement. I’m pleased this funding will now be used to cut the backlog of un-served warrants and get violent offenders off the streets of Maryland.”
Fifteen grants totaling more than $1,000,000 will be awarded to pay overtime for police officers and sheriffs’ deputies around the State to remove violent offenders from the streets and neighborhoods of Maryland. The goal of this initiative is to serve over 4,000 outstanding warrants on individuals who are either wanted for crimes of violence, or who have violent backgrounds and are wanted for any crimes. At any given time, tens of thousands of warrants remain un-served throughout Maryland, many of them for violent offenders.
“The top priority of government must be to ensure public safety and I applaud using recovery funds to pay law enforcement officials for the overtime that is needed to get dangerous criminals off our streets and ensure our communities are safe from violent offenders,” said Senator Benjamin Cardin.
Following the passage of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the O’Malley Brown Administration moved swiftly to capture more than $26 million in additional federal funding to put state-of-the-art law enforcement and information sharing technologies into the hands of our police at every level across our State. The O’Malley-Brown Administration is expanding the use of smart law enforcement technology across Maryland, including advanced fingerprinting technology, eliminating backlogs and expanding our DNA database, tracking and monitoring repeat violent offenders, and increased drug treatment funding. The O’Malley Brown Administration is putting families first by making public safety a top priority, with 66 fewer lives lost to homicides last year Statewide, the second highest reduction in homicides in nearly a quarter-century.