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Keyword: health department

County Executive Establishes Dedicated Investigative Unit

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced today that the County is creating a dedicated animal abuse unit in the Baltimore County Police Department to take the lead in investigation and enforcement efforts.

“In response to community input, I asked Police Chief Sheridan and Animal Services Director Dr. Melissa Jones to review County procedures regarding the referral and priority handling of animal cruelty cases,” stated County Executive Kamenetz. “That review recommended that Baltimore County establish a specialized unit in the Baltimore County Police Department dedicated to animal abuse cases, and this unit  will be up and running by the end of the month.”

The new Animal Abuse Investigative Team will comprise a police sergeant, a police officer and three civilian investigators. Animal Services has seen an increase in the number of suspected animal abuse cases since a new state law went into effect last October, compelling veterinary practitioners to report suspicions of animal cruelty or fighting to local animal control or law enforcement agencies.

The County’s review indicated that at the present time individuals may call a variety of numbers to report animal abuse cases.  Calls are made to the local police precinct, 911, Animal Services or even the State’s Attorney’s office. Under the new procedure, all callers will be directed to call 410-887-5901 to reach the Animal Abuse Investigative Team. If the Animal Abuse Investigative Team is unable to respond for whatever reason, callers will be instructed to call 911 immediately, and 911 operators will then refer the caller to the local police precinct.  The precinct will investigate and refer the case to the Animal Abuse Investigative Team for follow-up.

“Establishing a dedicated police unit to handle suspected cases of animal abuse will be a more effective way to handle what are often very challenging cases,” said Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan.

“The creation of this unit creates a much clearer line of communication for the public and for our employees at Animal Services,” said Melissa Jones, V.M.D., Director of Baltimore County Animal Services. “I’m very pleased to have the resources of the Police Department to investigate and fight animal cruelty in our communities.”

“I encouraged the County Executive to review all of the procedures in animal cruelty cases, and I am very pleased that he followed up,” said 1st District Councilman Tom Quirk. “This should be a much improved process.”

“The creation of a specialized unit in the Police Department to handle animal abuse will significantly improve communications between my office and the county,” said State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.

Show airs on Cable Channel 25 and online

The latest edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” introduces the County’s new Fire Chief Kyrle W. Preis III; and highlights two innovative and successful County initiatives, one that provides extra support to ensure good outcomes for young families and one that gives seniors and other vulnerable adults a safe, caring home.   

ICYMI – In case you missed it, we review some recent headlines from your County government.

Meet the New Fire Chief - Fire Chief Kyrle Preis discusses his priorities and initiatives.

Supporting Young Parents - Hear about the successes of the County’s Young Parent Support Center – celebrating 25 years of making a difference.

Adult Foster Care – Have room in your heart and home? Foster care is a great option for adults who need a little help.

You can also view the show on the County website’s Hello Baltimore County page at . Click on the menu icon in the upper left of the video screen to select an individual segment.

In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25, in Baltimore County, at the following times:

Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m.

Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.

Thursdays: 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.

Saturdays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Sundays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

$26 Million Facility Includes Expanded Homeless and Transitional Shelters, Community Health Services 

Dozens of homeless advocates and health service providers cheered this morning as Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz led a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to mark the grand opening of the County’s new and improved Eastern Family Resource Center (EFRC).

“I believe that the true measure of a government is how we treat the downtrodden - those who are most vulnerable,” Kamenetz said. “We consider it a vital responsibility to provide a social safety net for people who need it, and that is why my administration invests about $40 million each year in our social safety net, including building two modern full-service homeless shelters.”

“This new facility will help countless people in eastern Baltimore County, whether they are homeless or need low-cost health and dental services for their family,” said 6th District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins.

Expanded Shelter Operations

The new $26 million, 80,000 square-foot, three-floor facility is located on the campus of Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center and replaces an outdated facility. The former EFRC housed a shelter for women and families, as well as an array of programs operated through the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services.

The new EFRC replaces and expands the previous shelter for women and families that served 250 people, and offers three shelter operations, including an enhanced shelter for women and families, serving up to 250 people; a transitional shelter program for women and families, with a capacity of up to 38 people; and a new shelter for men, with a capacity of up to 50 people. The expanded center supports the County’s 10 Year Plan to Prevent and Reduce Homelessness. The shelters are operated and staffed by Community Assistance Network in partnership with Baltimore County.

The new shelter space in the EFRC was designed specifically to meet the needs of those who will be served in the shelters, including child care and child development space, as an outdoor play area and space for workshops and educational activities. The shelter will also allow for enhanced program collaboration with the addition of flexible office space for partnering agencies.

Healthy Partnerships

The County is funding $16 million of the cost of the new facility, with Medstar Health providing $5 million in support, along with $5 million from the State of Maryland. The architect is Chris Parts of Hord-Coplan-Macht and the building contractor is CAM Construction.

Baltimore County and MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center negotiated a land swap whereby the land housing the previous Eastern Family Resource Center is incorporated into the hospital campus and MedStar gave the County the 3.9-acre parcel of property for the new center.

Expanded Health Services

The new building allows the Department of Health to meet the growing needs of the community in a space that is thoughtfully designed for enhanced program collaboration. The building houses multiple Health Department functions, including Family Planning, Dental Services, the Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program, Immunizations, Substance Abuse Treatment, a Sexually Transmitted Infections clinic, and the Infants and Toddlers Program. 

The new facility also allows the County to expand health services to people who are homeless through its partnership with Health Care for the Homeless. The expanded space allows them to increase the capacity and scope of services to homeless people in Baltimore County, including expanded primary care, behavioral health and supportive services.

Westside Men’s Shelter Opened in July of 2015

In July of 2015, the County Executive Kamenetz also opened a new 54-bed, $3.4 million shelter homeless shelter for men that incorporates functional amenities to better help residents receive the services they need and work toward independent living. The facility is also operated and staffed by Community As

Revised September 11, 2017