MD Governor's Safe Streets Grant Funding Supports Two Local Police Departments

MARYLAND - The Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention committed $1,914,907 to nine jurisdictions across the state for the Safe Streets initiative. It's a program helping two local law enforcement agencies identify and arrest serious offenders.

"In short, we're going to focus on the top criminal offenders in our community that are causing us the most harm. We're going to track them whether their in Hagerstown or outside our borders throughout Washington County," said Chief Mark Holtzman with the Hagerstown Police Department.

Officers said much of this funding supports positions like crime and gang analysts and safe streets prosecutors. But officials said one of the major benefits is granted funded overtime. 

"Where they can go out and they don't have to be participating in normal patrol functions like they would if they're just working their regular shift, it always us to concentrate on areas where we may be having problems," said Lt. Bruce DeGrange with the Frederick City Police Department.

Both agencies said they're not the only ones benefiting from this funding. They have partnerships with the Sheriff's Office, State's Attorney and correctional services who all work together to make this program successful and reduce crime.

"I think these are dollars well spent and we do see some really good results out on the streets and working with our partner agencies whether it be overtime for tracking criminal offenders or arresting some of our most wanted," said Chief Holtzman. "This is where the funding comes from to make that happen." 

Since joining the safe street program, both agencies said they've seen a decrease in crimes and it's a trend they hope continues in the future.

The Hagerstown Police Department received $189,439 and the Frederick City Police Department received $214,548. This funding is for the 2015 fiscal year. Additionally, the Cumberland Police Department also received $200,000 for their Safe Streets program.

According to the Governor’s Office for Crime Control and Prevention, each local Safe Streets Coalitions should push for the following 10 Safe Streets goals:  

1.       Identify and prioritize offenders.

2.       Supervise and contain priority offenders.

3.       Identify and prioritize warrants.

4.       Establish a watch center model for information sharing among all relevant agencies at the time of booking.

5.       Train patrol officers on Safe Streets strategies.

6.       Establish a prosecution strategy for priority offenders.

7.       Track the prosecutions of priority offenders.

8.       Identify and enforce suspended and truant children.

9.       Nuisance abatement.

10.   Ensure local law enforcement agencies are equipped with the highest level of technology available.

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