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Baltimore County News

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Date: Jan 2020

Public Meetings Will Continue to Foster Transparency, Invite Input on Budget

County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced his second annual series of town hall meetings to hear from constituents about their ideas and priorities.

The seven meetings, one in each Council district, will provide a forum for public discussion focused on future budget priorities and ensure that community members have the opportunity to provide input into the budget planning process.

“In order to best serve the people of Baltimore County, we need to hear from them directly,” said Olszewski. “We remain committed to working collaboratively with all of our stakeholders in every community to build a better Baltimore County together.”

From 2016 to 2017, a total of two people testified on Baltimore County’s budget. In 2018, during his first year in office, Olszewski held the inaugural series of budget town hall meetings. Over 2,000 residents attended, with hundreds sharing priorities for the county.

This year, the Olszewski Administration will offer additional on-site resources from Baltimore County agencies to provide more immediate access to services and further connect residents with available resources.

The schedule of town hall meetings is available below:

Date

Details

Location

Tuesday, February 11
6 to 8 p.m.

2nd District Town Hall

County Executive Olszewski and Councilman Patoka

Gordon Center
3506 Gwynnbrook Avenue
Owings Mills, Maryland 21117

Tuesday, February 25
6 to 8 p.m.

3rd District Town Hall

County Executive Olszewski and Councilman Kach

Dulaney High School
255 East Padonia Road
Lutherville-Timonium, M
aryland 21093

Tuesday, March 3
6 to 8 p.m.

7th District Town Hall

County Executive Olszewski and Councilman Crandell

Sollers Point Multi-Purpose Center
323 Sollers Point Road
Dundalk, Maryland 21222

Wednesday, March 11
6 to 8 p.m.

4th District Town Hall

County Executive Olszewski and Councilman Jones

Owings Mills High School
124 South Tollgate Road
Owings Mills, M
aryland 21117

Wednesday, March 18
6 to 8 p.m.

6th District Town Hall

County Executive Olszewski and Councilwoman Bevins

CCBC Essex, Administration Building, Room 110
7201 Rossville Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21237

Tuesday, March 24
6 to 8 p.m.

1st District Town Hall

County Executive Olszewski and Councilman Quirk

CCBC Catonsville, Center for the Arts, Theater 
360 Campus Drive
Catonsville, M
aryland 21228

Tuesday, March 31
6 to 8 p.m.

5th District Town Hall

County Executive Olszewski and Councilman Marks

Towson High School
69 Cedar Avenue
Towson, Maryland 21286

Town Halls will be livestreamed on the Baltimore County Government Facebook page.

In the event of inclement weather that cancels evening activities at Baltimore County Public Schools or CCBC, the meeting will be postponed and rescheduled.

Translation services, sign language interpreters and other accommodations can be arranged upon request.


Increased State Investment Needed to Move Forward

County Executive Johnny Olszewski today testified before State leaders in Annapolis in support of HB 1—Built to Learn Act, legislation to provide critically-needed, State school construction funding.

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. Last year, Olszewski led the charge in support of school construction funding. This year, he has again made school construction funding a top priority for the 2020 General Assembly session.

The full text of the submitted testimony is available below:

Bill Number: HB 1
Title: Built to Learn Act of 2020
Sponsor: The Speaker
Committee: Appropriations
Position: SUPPORT
Date: January 23, 2020

Baltimore County SUPPORTS House Bill 1—Built to Learn Act of 2020.

Baltimore County’s Schools for Our Future program was launched in 2011 with the intention of spending $1.6 billion on critically needed school renovation and construction projects. The goal of the program was to eliminate overcrowding in elementary schools and modernize our facilities. We have made great strides because of this program. In Baltimore County, we have built nine new schools, made additions at seven schools and air-conditioned 59 schools. 

But the work is far from done. The County has budgeted $242 million in shovel-ready construction projects, which cannot move forward without essential investments from the State. With some of the oldest school stock in the state, the Built to Learn Act would provide $462 million needed for completing these critical projects.

As a former educator, County Executive Olszewski has dedicated his time in office to modernizing Baltimore County’s schools and building a better future for our residents. By supporting the funding for these crucial projects, this bill would bring significant benefits for students, educators, families, and communities in Baltimore County and across the State.

Accordingly, Baltimore County requests a favorable report on HB 1. 


Multipronged Approach Focused on Combating Violent Crime Across Baltimore County

County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Police Chief Melissa Hyatt today released a multipronged plan focused on combating violent crime through a series of immediate and upstream interventions.

“Keeping our communities safe is among the most important responsibilities of government. Any increase in violent crime is unacceptable. We refuse to normalize violence in our communities,” Olszewski said. “This plan brings together the Baltimore County Police Department, our law enforcement partners, and all of Baltimore County government to provide both immediate and upstream interventions to enhance the safety of our communities.”

“There is no single factor that causes violent crime, and no single solution. This plan includes innovative and proven strategies that will better equip our officers to prevent and respond to crime in our communities,” Chief Hyatt said.

Baltimore County remains a safe place to live, work and raise a family, but the increase in homicides in 2019 requires a decisive response. The public safety plan was the result of a re-evaluation of crime-fighting tactics and resources.

The plan released today focuses on five key priority areas to reduce violent crime:

1) Improved Data and Analytics: This year, the Baltimore County Police Department (BCoPD) will establish a Real Time Crime Center (RTCC), a physical center where real-time data, human intelligence, and technology are combined to drive effective deployment of resources. The RTCC will be led by experienced civilian crime analysts working alongside police officers. The RTCC will be primarily focused on the precincts that experience the greatest amount of gun violence.

2) Focused Crime Prevention: Baltimore County will increase the Baltimore County Police Department’s discretionary crime-fighting resources, enabling law enforcement to increase targeted crime prevention initiatives in “hot-spots” and at key times of activity. Coordination between the RTCC and the existing Comstat process will improve law enforcement’s ability to identify the small number of violent offenders in our communities and deploy strategies to prevent violence and victimization.

3) Attract and Retain Talent: Baltimore County will continue to invest in strategies to attract and retain high quality police officers. BCoPD recently reduced the number of sworn vacancies significantly, but attrition and retirements continue. Baltimore County will implement a pilot program for “take-home vehicles” this year, invest more in additional local recruitment efforts, implement foreign language proficiency stipends and referral bonuses, and conduct a comprehensive review of our hiring process.

4) Innovative Strategies: Baltimore County will continue to embrace proven violence reduction strategies to improve supervision and accountability. Last year, BCoPD expanded the number of area sectors from two to three, each led by a Major, allowing area commanders to more effectively focus resources. The Department also established a permanently-assigned Night Commander to provide further supervision and leadership overnight.

This year, Baltimore County will identify and implement proven violence reduction strategies, including seeking public and private resources to establish an Office of Public Safety to coordinate innovative violence reduction strategies and to convene stakeholders.

5) Strong Partnerships: Public safety has regional implications and requires regional solutions. Last year, Baltimore County stepped up to play a leading role in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) with other local, state, and federal partners and continues to coordinate with the State’s Attorney’s Office on building and prosecuting high quality cases, particularly for violent gun crimes.

This year, Baltimore County is increasing coordination and information sharing with the Baltimore Police Department about regional crime concerns and areas around the City/County border. Baltimore County is also working with the State and our Delegation to expand successful strategies such as the Warrant Apprehension Task Force (WATF) and the Regional Auto Theft Task Force (RATT). We have also increased strategic collaboration with the State Division of Parole and Probation, including through joint supervision efforts and having P&P agents participate in Comstat.

In addition to these interventions, Baltimore County will continue to support additional upstream interventions in order to prevent violence from occurring in the first place, including ongoing commitment to investment in education, recreational opportunities, and strategies to grow youth summer employment, and proactive community engagement.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017