TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Monday announced plans to propose new investments in public safety for fiscal year 2023, including the creation of new positions to improve school safety, community engagement, and data-driven policing.
“Keeping our communities safe is among the most sacred responsibilities of local government,” Olszewski said. “These new investments will allow us to continue to modernize our police department so that our officers can fight crime and continue to establish strong relationships with the communities they serve.”
“The additional funding announced today will enhance our efforts to continue providing the highest level of service to the community and the officers who serve them,” said Chief Melissa Hyatt. “I want to thank County Executive Olszewski, and all of our partners throughout Baltimore County, for their unwavering support.”
The proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2023, which Olszewski will present to the County Council on April 14, 2022, will include funding for a number of critical new positions for the police department, including:
- Wellness Director – This person will focus on expanding the breadth and depth of wellness supports for officers, which is important to ensuring they can continue to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.
- Police Community Engagement Coordinator – This person will serve as a direct liaison to Baltimore County communities, ensuring that all precincts are making the connections necessary for effective community policing.
In addition, the budget includes funding to hire eight new data scientists – an important investment to continue efforts to shift to more data-driven policing strategies – as well as funding for seven new forensics positions to enhance the department’s ability to solve cases quickly.
To support our existing school resources officers (SRO), the proposed budget will include funding to hire four new floating SROs, enhancing the officers’ ability to develop relationships in the schools and respond to any criminal activity that occurs.
Additionally, the budget will include funding to continue offering hiring bonuses and recruitment incentives to help attract a diverse pool of talent. New recruits receive a $10,000 hiring bonus, and existing police department staff receive a $500 referral incentive if they refer successful candidates. These incentives are critical to ensuring the department can recruit new talent and ensure a fully staffed police force.