ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan, at a Thursday press conference at his office in Baltimore City, announced a series of new initiatives and expanded legislation to get violent offenders off the streets and address the violent crime crisis facing Baltimore City:
- Funding for 25 new prosecutors and support staff for the Attorney General to prosecute violent crimes.
- $21 million in additional funding for Baltimore City and the State’s Attorney’s Office.
- A new comprehensive juvenile crime strategy to curb youth violence in Baltimore City.
- New and expanded legislation to increase tougher sentences for violent offenders who commit crimes with guns.
- New legislation to strengthen penalties for those who intimidate witnesses and legislation to make restitution mandatory.
- Legislation to publish sentencing records of judges in violent crime cases to hold judges more accountable for their sentencing decisions.
“Keeping Marylanders safe is my responsibility, and I’m going to keep providing the City with all the state and federal assistance and backup we possibly can in order to attack this violent crime crisis from all directions with everything we’ve got,” said Governor Hogan. “But I’m also going to keep holding City leaders accountable and ensure that we are working together and using every tool and resource at our disposal to track down, arrest, convict, and bring these violent criminals to justice. The time has come for Baltimore City to finally take back its streets and communities once and for all.”
New Initiatives and Additional Funding
More Prosecutors for the Attorney General to Prosecute Violent Crimes:
In September, Governor Hogan directed the Attorney General’s Office to investigate and prosecute violent crimes, crimes related to firearms, and organized crime in Baltimore City. Governor Hogan announced today that the forthcoming Fiscal Year 2021 budget will fund 25 new positions in the Attorney General’s Office for additional prosecutors and support staff.
Additional Funding for Baltimore City’s Crime-Fighting Efforts:
Governor Hogan is committing additional funding for Baltimore City’s crime-fighting efforts, including $9.2 million to increase community policing efforts; $4.6 million for the Baltimore Police Department’s records management system, lab information management system, and license plate reader technology; $2.4 million for the new location of the Baltimore Police Academy; and $1.9 million for the State’s Attorney’s Office for gun violence prosecution.
New Comprehensive Juvenile Crime Strategy:
Governor Hogan announced that the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and Baltimore City leaders have formed a strategic partnership to curb youth violence in Baltimore City. The Department of Juvenile Services will align case management resources with Baltimore City police districts to create a better service delivery model. The collaboration will also develop a stronger youth accountability process to appropriately intervene and provide services and supervision.
Expanded Crime Legislation
Governor Hogan announced major crime legislation that he will introduce in the 2020 legislative session:
- Governor Hogan will introduce the Violent Firearm Offenders Act to significantly increase tougher sentences for violent offenders who commit crimes with guns. This new and expanded legislation will increase penalties for: (1) those who repeatedly illegally carry firearms and for convicted gang members who illegally possess guns; (2) those who illegally transfer guns to people they know intend to use them in a crime; and (3) those who steal firearms, possess stolen firearms, or engage in straw purchasing.
- Governor Hogan will re-introduce the Judicial Transparency Act, requiring the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy to publish sentencing records of judges in violent crime cases to hold the system more accountable to the public for sentencing decisions.
- Governor Hogan will introduce the Witness Intimidation Prevention Act to toughen penalties for witness intimidation resulting in serious physical injury or death, and expand the courts’ ability to admit statements made by intimidated witnesses under certain circumstances to all crimes. The governor will also introduce a measure to prioritize victims and make restitution payments mandatory.
- Additionally, Governor Hogan will introduce legislation to make victim restitution payments mandatory.