Skip Navigation

Baltimore County iWatch Logo

Public Safety News

 

Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: outreach

Each year for National Arson Awareness Week, the U.S. Fire Administration gathers and shares information to raise awareness of arson and provide individuals with strategies to combat these problems in their community.

This year’s National Arson Awareness Week theme is "Prevent Wildfire Arson - Spread the Facts Not the Fire." Arson is the willful, malicious, intentional and/or reckless burning of your property or someone else’s. Wildfire arson takes place on underdeveloped wildland or uncultivated land comprised of forest, brush or grassland.

  • During the five-year period 2010-2014, 23 percent of wildfires reported were arson (U.S. Department of the Interior).
  • Individual arson fires can cause damages to resources and communities totaling over a hundred million dollars (U.S. Forest Service).
  • More than half a million wildfires are set by arsonists each year in the U.S., resulting in over $3 billion in damages (National Institute of Standards and Technology and U.S. Department of Agriculture).

To learn more about how to prevent wildfire arson, visit FEMA's website. Materials from previous Arson Awareness Week programs are also available to read and download.

Crime prevention, police partnerships, outreach and public safety education to schools, communities and all segments of our society are the responsibility of every single Baltimore County police officer, said Chief Jim Johnson in announcing a departmental reorganization. The reorganization will further enhance and build upon the agency’s long-standing and a very successful community policing program.

In the past, Johnson said the department’s Community Resources Bureau was separate from the Operations Bureau, leading some officers to feel that building community relationships and working with young people was the primary responsibility of the Community Resources Bureau, or the work of outreach teams in individual precincts.

“Especially in today’s environment, this mind set must change in public safety”, Johnson said. “Our effectiveness rests on the confidence of people we serve. It is critical that we enhance programming and build confidence and relationships with our younger citizens, organizations and all communities in our great County. This is every officer’s business. This is every officer’s role and responsibility – from the Chief all the way to the officers and professional staff members of what I believe is the finest police department in America.”

Effective immediately, the Safe Schools Section, which manages the School Resource Officer program and is liaison to Baltimore County Public Schools, will report to the Operations Bureau, Patrol Division. This will provide better clarity of communication, and coordination of investigations, tactics and procedures to further enhance the safety of our students, faculty and staff that work in our exceptional school system.

A new Youth & Community Resources Section will comprise a Counseling Team, Youth Initiatives and a new Community Partnership Team. This Section will become part of the Operations Bureau reporting to the Operations Commander.

Ten officers assigned to the Juvenile Offenders in Need of Supervision (J.O.I.N.S.) will be reassigned from Police Headquarters to the ten precincts county -wide, allowing families and children in the J.O.I.N.S. Program more convenient, closer to home, police visits and interaction, as well as counseling.

Baltimore County’s very successful and valued Auxiliary Police Program, in which volunteers provide traffic control and other basic operational support to sworn officers, will become part of the Operations Bureau, Support Operations Division.

With this reorganization, the agency will operate under two Bureaus, which will no doubt enhance communications, expedite police response and coordination of crime prevention, community policing and outreach, investigation and patrol services, as well as provide the most robust youth, crime prevention, counseling, and education resources available.

 
 
Revised June 27, 2017