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Keyword: public safety

Olszewski Administration will also pursue public health, environmental legislation this session

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski will again make the fight for school construction and education funding as the top priorities of his legislative agenda for the upcoming 2020 General Assembly session. The push for education funding will be part of a robust, legislative agenda that also includes public safety initiatives, environmental efforts and measures related to public health.

“We need to secure the critical investments in our schools, our neighborhoods, and our communities that will make a difference for both this generation and the next,” Olszewski said. “Our legislative agenda this year is focused on expanding upon the progress we have already made in order to build a better Baltimore County for all with stronger, more vibrant, and more sustainable communities for years to come.”

"Baltimore County's residents want and deserve strong, safe, and growing communities — and that's exactly what this agenda is about. We're committed to working together to bring results for the people of Baltimore County,"  said Baltimore County Delegation Chair, Delegate Pat Young.

The Olszewski Administration’s 2020 legislative agenda includes:

Investing in our Schools and Classrooms
Baltimore County has funded $242 million in shovel-ready school construction projects. These projects cannot move forward without increased State investment and additional needs remain, including several Baltimore County high schools.

Building on his efforts in the 2019 session, County Executive Olszewski will continue to lead the fight for passage of the Built to Learn Act.

Investing in our Educators and Students
Baltimore County invested over $900 million in public education in FY2020, more than $35 million more than required under Maryland’s Maintenance of Effort law. This is a record investment – but we must continue to do more to ensure every student graduates ready for college or a career.

Recognizing the support Baltimore County has already put forward, County Executive Olszewski will work with legislators to enact the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission.

Enhancing Regional Public Safety Initiatives
The Baltimore County Police Department works with neighboring jurisdictions to target violent crime through the Warrant Apprehension Task Force and Regional Auto-theft Task Force. Both programs are successful but under-resourced.

Baltimore County will propose a State-funded matching grant program for inter-jurisdictional law enforcement initiatives.

Creating Innovative Solutions to the Opioid Crisis
Baltimore County had the second highest number of opioid-related deaths in Maryland in 2018. In partnership with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, County Executive Olszewski convened a workgroup, which recommended the creation of a “Hub and Spoke” treatment model similar to a system used with great success in Vermont.

Baltimore County will propose a State-funded pilot program which follows this model, integrating substance abuse treatment with general healthcare and wellness services.

Protecting Those Who Serve Us
Maryland’s “move over” law currently offers insufficient protection for our first responders and work crews. More than 3,500 people have been injured and 46 people have been killed in work zone crashes across Maryland from 2014-2018 according to SHA. Virginia recently addressed this issue by passing a law to treat a move-over infraction as reckless driving, with a maximum fine of $2,500.

Baltimore County will propose that the State enact a statewide provision similar to Virginia’s, to better protect those who serve us.

Improving County Parks & Playgrounds
The State’s Community Parks and Playground Program restores existing parks and also creates new park and green space systems – but the two Maryland counties without municipalities, including Baltimore County -- are currently excluded from participation in the program.

Baltimore County will explore efforts to expand the program’s eligibility requirements so residents can better benefit from Maryland’s ongoing investment in parks and green space.

Protecting Our Waterways
Toxic chemicals can contaminate local water supplies, costing millions of dollars and taking years to clean up. The chemicals perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) in firefighting foams have been linked to the contamination of water sources and cancerous diseases, and several states have sued chemical manufacturers.

Baltimore County will propose a statewide ban on the use of these chemicals in firefighting foams for training purposes.

Addressing Illegal Truck Traffic
Large trucks often travel on unauthorized roads to avoid tolls or to save time, and local communities suffer as a consequence. Technology offers an efficient mechanism to curb this practice.

Baltimore County will propose enabling State legislation to install traffic cameras that will monitor streets for unauthorized truck traffic. Violators will pay fines for straying from authorized truck routes, significantly reducing illegal truck traffic in County neighborhoods and improving quality of life for affected residents.

Revitalizing our Communities
In 2018, Maryland created a Community Development Program Fund to provide financial assistance to community development projects.

Baltimore County will ask the State to invest $5 million annually into the fund to aid jurisdictions as they help to create vibrant communities.


by Tammy Price, Chief, Baltimore County 911 Center

911 has been featured in television shows (Rescue 911, and 9-1-1) and movies (Operator and The Call) so you may be pretty familiar with the profession, but there are some things you may not know about your local Baltimore County 911 Center. 

Did you know? 

We are only 39 years old!  It seems like 911 has always been around, but The Baltimore County 911 Center has only been in operation since January 15, 1980.  In fact, the very first 911 call was made a mere 12 years before -- in Alabama on February 16, 1968.   

We’re the 3rd largest 911 center in Maryland! As such, we handle over 800,000 calls for service each year – that’s an average of about 2,200 calls per day.   

We are a civilian organization.  While we work in conjunction with the Police and Fire Departments, we are a separate agency. 

We have over 200 employees. Our dedicated men and women are the FIRST of the first responders.     

Answering our questions doesn’t delay help. The location of the emergency is the most important piece of information you can give us.  Once we have the location, we will dispatch the call and then ask the rest of our questions while help is on the way. 

Our non-emergency number is 410-887-2222.  This is a 24 hour number that you can use to report non-emergency situations in Baltimore County.   

Young children call 911 too!  Early education is key, so we attend community events and teach an elementary education program to help young children learn about 911. 

In our profession, we are known as telecommunicators. However, each 911 Center’s job title may vary. In Baltimore County, our calltakers and dispatchers are called Emergency Communications Technicians (ECTs). 

National Telecommunicators Week celebrates our calltakers and dispatchers.  Each year, a week in April is designated as National Telecommunicators Week to recognize the work our men and women do.  Just as the police and fire departments have the thin blue and red lines, our profession is identified by the Thin Gold Line.  
 


Calls for regional partnership rather than finger-pointing

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski released the following statement in response to public conversations regarding recent public safety incidents at White Marsh Mall:

“Every person deserves to feel safe in their community. Chief Sheridan and I are actively discussing additional measures to engage residents and address concerns about crime. To that end, I will be talking with mall leadership and will ask them to develop a clear and specific policy on unsupervised youth. As we work to keep our communities safe, we will not point fingers but instead work in collaboration with our partners in the Baltimore region to address public safety concerns.”


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017