October 9, 2012
Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
8 to 9 a.m.
Executive Conference Room Historic Court House, Mezzanine Level
400 Washington Avenue
Towson, Maryland 21204
- Kim Barranco, Baltimore City, CJCC
- Joe Clocker, DPSCS – Community Supervision
- Mike Esposito, District Court of Maryland for Baltimore County
- Dave Goldman, Bureau of Behavioral Health
- Alan Hill, Baltimore County Public Schools
- Chief James Johnson, Police Department
- Cass Jorgensen, Department of Aging
- Lynn McCammie, Department of Aging
- Jim McClafferty, Maryland Department of Juvenile Services
- Donna Morrison, Deputy Administrative
- Officer Don Schlimm, Local Management Board
- Scott Shellenberger, Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office
- Timothy Sheridan, Circuit Court for Baltimore County
- Sharon Tyler, Department of Corrections
- Judge Alexandra Williams, District Court of Maryland for Baltimore County
- Donald Zaremba, Office of the Public Defender
Welcome/Approval of Minutes
Chief Johnson welcomed everyone to the October meeting of the Baltimore County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. Minutes of the June 12, 2012 meeting were presented and a motion was made, seconded, and carried to adopt the minutes as presented.
Presentation on Elder Abuse
Lynn McCammie, Department of Aging, gave a brief presentation on the Ombudsman Program. Ombudsman acts as advocates for residents of long-term care facilities on issues such as residents’ rights, quality of care, involuntary transfers and discharges, abuse and neglect, privacy and food quality. Ms. McCammie also shared information regarding BC-REST (Baltimore County Restoring Elder Safety Program), a coalition of Baltimore County agencies and outside organizations whose mission is to educate and empower the community to identify elder abuse through public education, advocacy and resource development.
Information was shared regarding Project SAFE (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) which offers training for the financial and law enforcement communities on how to detect and report financial exploitation, and educates older Marylanders about how to avoid financial exploitation.
Details were provided regarding the Tenth Annual Advocacy Conference scheduled for November 15, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Baltimore in Timonium, Maryland.
Chief Johnson expressed concern regarding the increase in calls for service at assisted living facilities for resident upon resident or patient upon patient assault. He commented that this is a unique and growing problem for public safety. Ms. McCammie indicated that Ombudsman work to resolve complaints that come from the nursing homes and assisted living institutions.
Committee Reports and Updates
Domestic Violence Coordinating Council
Offender Employment Network
Sharon Tyler provided a copy of the minutes from the June 29, 2012 meeting of the Offender Employment Network Committee. The committee will meet again in November. Sharon mentioned that they continue to experience problems with placing people into jobs.
Juveniles/Disproportionate Minority Contact Committee
Don Schlimm reported that funding for school based mental health services has been greatly reduced over the past four years and staff of BCPS, Health, DSS and the LMB have been unable to locate additional resources to completely close the resulting gaps. Recent events at Perry Hall HS and Stemmers Run Middle have led all agency staff to the conclusion that a complete assessment of school based mental health service delivery is necessary. A steering committee has been created to work with the University of Maryland Center for School Mental Health to complete the assessment.
Forensic Mental Health Workgroup
A copy of the minutes from the workgroup’s meeting of September 12, 2012 were provided to attendees. Dave Goldman advised that one of the major issues being dealt with is getting people into hospitals in a timely manner. One of the contributing factors is that the Department of Mental Health has closed alternative living units at Spring Grove and Springfield. This created a loss of 50 beds. There are no step down units for people in a hospital to go into. Mr. McClafferty advised that they are experiencing the same problems on the juvenile side of the spectrum – waiting for beds. The District Court is working on the issue, however, it appears that there are many issues converging at one time.
- Dave Goldman led a discussion on the topic of drug overdoses. Statistics released by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene indicate that Baltimore County is running second or third in the State of Maryland in drug overdoses and death. Mr. Goldman indicated that the Police Department’s Crime Analysis Unit has been very helpful in going back and looking at the number of calls for potential overdoses.
The topic of synthetic marijuana was discussed in great detail.
- Tim Sheridan indicated that the Circuit Court is working with the Detention Center to move forward with video conferences for arraignments, bail reviews and bench warrants. It is possible that this will be in place by January depending on OIT. Judges Turnbull and Cahill will handle the first few dockets.
- Chief Johnson asked for an update on the Richmond ruling now that four additional Public Defenders were hired. Mr. Zaremba indicated that things were going well. There is good coordination with the Department of Corrections, and this has made the Public Defender’s job easier.
The following Police Department updates were shared by Chief Johnson:
With the implementation of E-citations, signatures will not be required by the violator or the officer. Baltimore County does not use electronic signatures on statement of charges or other documents.
The Department will be making available gun locks free of charge to Baltimore County residents. The Baltimore County Police Foundation provided 2,000 gun locks to distribute.
The Department is purchasing hand-held wands for use within the schools. Operating procedures are being formed and the department is working with the school system to introduce this tool into the schools.
Field based reporting will be implemented within the next seven to ten months. With this new program, all reports will be completely typed – moving away from hand written reports and statements of charges. This system will also provide government agencies with more real time access to charging documents and police reports. Precinct Three will be piloting this program and other precincts will be phased in.
Chief Johnson advised that he has served on the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence for three years and is currently serving as Chair. With this new responsibility, he advised that locally you will see lots of media activity on this topic. The focus of this Partnership is to nationally advance some of the initiatives and legislation that we saw in the Brady Bill. Some of these issues have now sunset. The Partnership will be addressing national background checks, limits on high capacity magazines (10 or more rounds), stop online sales of ammunition, stop handgun sales from other states. Chief Johnson feels that the public is ready for change on gun violence issues.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting date is December 11, 2012.
Revised June 4, 2013