Working together, we have driven violent crime down to the lowest levels in Maryland since the 1970s. We surpassed our violent crime reduction goal driving down violent crime 24.4% since 2006.
We chose to invest more than $2.3 billion in FY2014 to protect public safety by targeting the most violent offenders, identifying and monitoring high risk youth, and supporting statewide public safety initiatives and local law enforcement. The FY2014 budget also continue to protect those who protect us by providing more than $67 million for our police officers – the largest investment in over 20 years and a nearly $22 million increase over FY2013
Protecting Citizens Against Gun Violence
The O'Malley-Brown Adminsitration worked with the General Assembly this session to enact a comprehensive plan of common sense reforms to make our people safer.
- Gun Safety: Requires licensing, fingerprinting and safety training to purchase a handgun; Bans sale of 45 types of assault weapons and copycats; Limits magazine capacity; Bans "cop-killer" bullets; Requires reporting of lost or stolen frireams; Bars persons whor receive probation before judgement for violent crimes from possessing firearms; Establishes a single automated gun application process between gun dealers and the State Police; Strenghens the State Peolece's ability to regulate gun dealers and shut down rogue dealers whose guns result in a disproportionate number of crimes
- School Safety: Dedicates $25 million for school security enhancements; Establishes a Maryland Center for School Safety; Ensures Maryland's schools and highers education institutions will work with the State Police to review all school emergency plans to identify and address any gaps
- Mental Health: Expands the category of persons prohibited from possessing guns; Facilitates unprecedented levels of information sharing among federal and state partners for background checks; Improves mental health services; Establishes a Center for Excellence on Early Intervention to increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of mental health problems; Expands Maryland's Crisis Intervention Teams and Crisis Responses Serves; Establishes a Task Force to improve continuity of care in our mental health system
Targeting the Most Violent Offenders
In 2007, we implemented the Violence Prevention Initiative. This program targets over 2,300 of the State’s most violent offenders using a common-sense risk assessment tool to identify and more intensively supervise those most at risk of committing a homicide or non-fatal shooting. Since implementation, VPI offenders have an average re-arrest rate under 9%.
Expanding our DNA Database
When Governor O’Malley took office in January 2007, a backlog of more than 24,000 un-analyzed DNA samples was sitting on the shelves of State forensic science laboratories. Additionally, DNA samples were rarely collected from parolees and probationers. One legislative audit estimated that 15,000 parolees and probationers went untested between 2004 and 2006.
Working together with the courageous men and women of Maryland’s law enforcement we cleared the DNA backlog in 2008. In 2009, we signed a bill into law expanding Maryland’s Statewide DNA Database by requiring all individuals to submit a DNA sample upon being charged for crimes of violence, first, second and third degree burglary and any attempt of these crimes. Since then, we've nearly quadrupled the number of convicted offender DNA samples in our State's database and used modern DNA technology to take 535 murderers, rapists and other violent criminals off of our streets. This year, the General Assembly approved renewal of that law to continue to make Maryland safer.
Building a More Resilient Maryland
The most lasting and lifesaving tribute we can give to those who died on 9/11 is to better prepare our State – and
therefore our nation – for the likelihood of the next attack, and the inevitability of the next hurricane or tornado.
In 2012, we made the first call onMaryland FiRST, our new statewide interoperable radio system. We completed construction of the first phase of the system in 2012, covering one-third of the State's population and two-thirds of the State's critical infrastructure. All phases will be completed by 2016. Gap interim solutions are currently in place in all regions.
For the last 10 years, we have been pursuing 12 ore capacities to improve homeland security. These capacities evolved out of conversations in the aftermath of 9/11 and they continue to evolve. Read more about the 12 core capacities here.
- New Maryland Law Requires Smoke Alarms with Long-Life Batteries Washington Examiner, May 2013
- O'Malley Signs Gun Bill Baltimore Sun, May 2013
- Maryland Bans Assault Weapons in Bill Signed by O'Malley Bloomberg, May 2013
- Governor O'Malley Outlines Plans to Combat Crime Behind Bars CBS Baltimore, May 2013
- Maryland National Guard Preparing Final Afghan Deployment Baltimore Sun, May 2013
- Maryland Governor Signs Death Penalty Repeal CNN, May 2013
- Last year, we drove down violent crime, property crime and homicide to 30-year lows.
- We set a goal of reducing violent crime in Maryland by 20% by the end of 2012. In 2012 we surpassed that goal, driving down violent crime 24.4% since 2006 to a 34-year low.
- In 2012, Baltimore City recorded fewer than 200 murders for the first time since 1977.
- We are working with our neighbors to strengthen our region- we are now sharing arrest information with DC, Virginia, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
- Together we’ve been able to clear the DNA backlog and pass necessary DNA collection laws leading to 535 DNA aided arrests.
- Maryland is ranked among the top five states for public health preparedness.
“There is nothing more important that any of us do in government than improving public safety.”
- Governor O’Malley