Baltimore County Now
Tomorrow, I will have the honor of speaking at the annual Baltimore County Police Memorial Ceremony. Every year, family, friends, and co-workers from across the County come together next to the memorial that overlooks Patriot Plaza in Towson to recognize the bravery and heroism of the Baltimore County Police Officers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
Recalling the bravery and dedication of these heroic men and women is always a humbling experience. I am sure that tomorrow will be no exception. However, what always strikes me the most about our fallen heroes is the nature of their bravery.
Like most of our jobs, our officers have their quiet days, but unlike the rest of us, the men and women of the Baltimore County Police Department can never relax. Each of our officers knows that on even the most boring and routine day of their careers, the worst case scenario can be right around the corner. They know that at any minute they may be asked to put their own safety at risk to protect their community.
Having the courage, discipline, and commitment to handle such a stark reality is remarkable. Yet it’s just another day in the life for the men and women of the Baltimore County Police Department. As Baltimore County Executive, and as a father raising a family here, I could not be more grateful that these officers are on the street each and everyday, prepared to do whatever it takes to keep our County safe.
Traffic Signal Shop
Department of Public Works
They’re on most of the County’s traffic lights – little cameras that keep you in their sight while you wait for the light to change. Some people think they’re speed cameras or red-light cameras or maybe more police surveillance hardware. The truth is a little more prosaic and a lot more benign. The cameras send video feed to a computer which counts backed-up cars and decides whether to give a green light to waiting cars. That’s all.
The video goes directly to a control box on the ground where it interfaces with a computer program. The program analyzes the image by changes in light patterns moving across the detection zone (otherwise known as the backed-up-traffic-you’re-sitting-in).
These traffic cameras can’t read your license plate or distinguish a Ford Pinto from a water buffalo. But they can tell how congested the traffic is and then do something about it. The system has no memory; the resolution is low and the cameras are all stuck in a permanently-fixed position – with no sweep or zoom. You don’t have to worry about these eyes. It’s not Big Brother.
For the past two years, Baltimore County has been finding innovative, new uses of technology to serve our communities as effectively as possible. Today, we are launching a new way for Baltimore County government to communicate with you: Baltimore County Now, the official blog of Baltimore County government.
Baltimore County Now will be your home to news you can use from every level of County government, from the County Executive’s office to the employees working with your neighborhoods every day. Want to know more about how your County is working for you? Ever wondered what those little cameras are at the top of stoplights? Want to take a behind the scenes look at one of our County’s largest life sciences companies? Then Baltimore County Now is the place for you.