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Keyword: transparency

County Experienced Reductions in Crime Through First Six Months of 2020

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today released a new interactive data dashboard, where residents can view detailed information about crime. The dashboard is the latest tool available to increase government transparency and accountability in Baltimore County.

“Residents deserve to know exactly what’s happening in their communities, and this dashboard shines a light on crime statistics in Baltimore County,” Olszewski said. “We’re pleased that the dashboard shows that crime is decreasing in Baltimore County, and that Baltimore County remains a safe place to live, work, and raise a family.”

The data dashboard includes County Part 1 Crime data from 2017 to present. The dashboard will be updated each month.

“We will continue to work relentlessly on building public trust in the communities that we serve. The creation of this information center increases our transparency for citizens to see and understand what is happening in their communities and within our agency,” said Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt. “We remain committed to promoting equitable policing across Baltimore County and will continue to evolve and enhance our level of service.”

According to data through the first six months of 2020, Baltimore County reported reductions in homicides and all other major crime categories. From January 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, Baltimore County saw the following major reductions compared to the same period in 2019:

  • Homicides: 15 percent decrease
  • Burglary: 35 percent decrease
  • Robberies: 30 percent decrease
  • Assault: 24 percent decrease
  • Theft: 23 percent decrease
  • Motor Vehicle Theft: 15 percent decrease

No Part 1 crime categories saw year-over-year increases.

“Ensuring the safety of our communities is one of our most important responsibilities and I want to applaud Chief Hyatt and the Baltimore County Police Department for their bravery, service, and progress,” Olszewski added. “Early in the new year, I introduced a series of interventions to enhance the safety of our communities, changes which are already showing significant progress. Moving ahead, we will continue to innovate to make sure Baltimore County’s neighborhoods remain safe.”

The interactive crime data dashboard released today joins Baltimore County’s growing set of resources for residents that provide greater transparency, reflecting Olszewski’s unprecedented commitment to a more transparent and accountable government.

Earlier this year, Olszewski launched BCSTAT, a data-driven performance management program that aims to improve performance, ensure data quality, enhance transparency and increase accountability across government.

Baltimore County has also released a number of downloadable raw data-sets related to numerous government functions and services. Open Data also includes access to the “My Neighborhood” interactive mapping application, which allows residents to select, view and print predefined maps and reports about Baltimore County, such as police precincts, enterprise zones or census information.

In 2019, the Olszewski Administration released the Baltimore County Open Budget platform to empower residents to explore the County’s budget in an online, easily understood format. The platform currently features information on current and prior year’s budgets, including revenue and expenditures for both operating and capital expenses.

As part of a recent package of reforms to improve transparency and accountability in the Baltimore County Police Department, the Olszewski Administration announced plans to build public dashboards displaying data on the number and disposition of complaints against police officers, instances of uses of force and traffic stop data broken down by race. These dashboards will be released in the coming weeks.


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.


Workgroup to Offer Recommendations, Bring Greater Transparency and Accountability to Law Enforcement

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today issued an executive order announcing the formation of the Baltimore County Workgroup on Equitable Policing, which will examine policing policies and practices and make recommendations for ensuring equitable policing in Baltimore County.  

The Baltimore County Police Department collects and reports data related to traffic stops annually to the Maryland Statistical Analysis Center (MSAC). A review of 2018 data (PDF) shows that African-American individuals were issued citations at a rate higher than other individuals. While the data does not necessarily indicate bias or discrimination, the County Executive and Police Chief Melissa Hyatt believe the data merit thorough examination.

First-of-its-Kind Workgroup

The first-of-its-kind workgroup will examine current policies, practices, and training related to equitable policing in Baltimore County and offer recommendations to ensure equitable policing practices and bring greater transparency and accountability to law enforcement.

“Our law enforcement officers work tirelessly day in and day out to keep our communities safe, and I am grateful for their dedicated service. We also have a moral obligation to ensure accountable, equitable, and just law enforcement that serves all residents,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Today we are taking steps to provide a closer look at our data, promote fairness, improve accountability and build a safer, stronger county.”

“This work group is an opportunity for us to increase communication and transparency in Baltimore County.  Every day and every night our officers are out in our communities patrolling in an effort to keep everyone safe,” said Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt. “We owe it to the members of our community to ensure that we are utilizing our resources in the most effective way.  I look forward to being a part of this important discussion.”

Responsibilities of the Workgroup

The newly announced workgroup will:

  • Review and analyze data provided to the Maryland Statistical Analysis Center;
  • Collect and analyze additional data from the Baltimore County Police Department;
  • Analyze benchmarking data from other political subdivisions and comparable jurisdictions across the country;
  • Review current written orders and manuals relevant to traffic and person stops;
  • Meet with command staff and officers in the Police Department to examine how current policing practices and principles may be influencing the data;
  • Review training and supervision that Police Officers receive with respect to implicit bias in policing; and
  • Review national best practices with respect to equitable policing, traffic and person stop practices and policies, training and supervision.

Workgroup Members

Chaired by Baltimore County’s newly-named Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Troy Williams, the workgroup consists of a diverse array of talented and knowledgeable individuals, including: 

  • Crystal Francis, Community Representative
  • Tony Fugett, Baltimore County NAACP
  • Councilman Julian Jones, Baltimore County Council, District 4
  • Omer Reshid, Student Member of the Baltimore County Board of Education, Youth Representative
  • Colonel Robert McCullough, Baltimore County Police Department
  • Anthony Russell, President, Blue Guardians
  •  Scott Shellenberger, State’s Attorney
  • John Skinner, Professor of Criminal Justice, Towson University
  • Delegate Charles Sydnor
  • Cole Weston, Fraternal Order of Police
  • Chief Melissa Hyatt, Baltimore County Police Department (ex-officio)
  • Drew Vetter, Baltimore County Deputy Administrative Officer (ex-officio)

”I am honored to help lead this work group and committed to taking swift action to carry out the County Executive’s charge to review the data and identify actionable recommendations that will ensure equitable policing across Baltimore County,” said Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Troy Williams.

Workgroup Tasks

The Baltimore County Workgroup on Equitable Policing will host two public input sessions to receive public comment. Dates and times for these public input sessions will be forthcoming.

The Workgroup will issue a draft report and recommendations no later than July 2020, which shall be posted online for public comment. Following public input, the Workgroup will issue a final report no later than August 2020.

“Communities are safest when police and residents can trust each other,” Delegate Charles Sydnor said. “I’m thankful County Executive Olszewski is leading on this issue and convening this workgroup to thoroughly investigate these concerns and to affirm that trust.”

“We have a responsibility to do whatever we can to ensure Baltimore County is safe for all of our residents,” Councilman Jones said. “I’m looking forward to serving on this workgroup and working collaboratively and ensure equitable policing in every community across Baltimore County.”

The full text of Executive Order 2019-001 (Baltimore County Workgroup on Equitable Policing) is available for review.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017