Health officials to provide free flu shots in Middle River this weekend

Flu ShotBaltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of Health and Human Services and “Sure Shot,” the Department of Health mascot, announced this week that Baltimore County would hold “Super Saturday” free flu vaccination clinics this weekend.

On Saturday, October 21, from 9 a.m. to noon, the department will hold public flu vaccination clinics at the following locations in each of the seven council districts:

  • Drumcastle Government Center
    6401 York Road, First Floor
    Baltimore, Maryland 21212
  • Dundalk Middle School
    7400 Dunmanway
    Baltimore, Maryland 21222
  • Hereford Middle School
    712 Corbett Road
    Monkton, Maryland 21111
  • Lansdowne Middle School
    2400 Lansdowne Road
    Baltimore, Maryland 21227
  • Randallstown Community Center
    3505 Resource Drive
    Randallstown, Maryland 21133
  • Middle River Middle School
    800 Middle River Road
    Middle River, Maryland 21220
  • Pikesville Middle School
    7701 Seven Mile Lane
    Pikesville, Maryland 21208

Free flu vaccinations will be available, while supplies last. Vaccines are given on a first come, first serve basis and no appointment is needed. Residents are asked to wear short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts for quick and easy access to the portion of their arm where the vaccination will be administered.

“Nobody wants to catch the flu and flu vaccines are a great defense against this common, but potentially dangerous illness,” saidCounty Executive Kamenetz. “By having clinics located across the county, we are making it as easy and convenient as possible for people to get their free, annual flu shot on Saturday.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months of age and older get the flu vaccine – even if they were vaccinated last year – since immunity from vaccination declines over time and strains my change from year to year. The vaccine is safe, effective and readily available this season.

“I am urging all individuals six months and older to stay in the game and get a flu shot this year,” stated Dr. Branch. “As I remind residents every fall, the best defensive move against the flu is knowing the flu FACTS – Frequently wash your hands, Always get an annual flu shot, Cover your coughs, Take time off when you are sick, and Seek medical treatment if symptoms get worse.”

For more information on Super Saturday flu vaccination clinics, call 410-887-BCHD (2243) or visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/flushot.

Victory Villa Elementary to hold ceremonial groundbreaking for replacement school

Victory Villa Elementary SchoolGround will soon be broken on a new school in Middle River.

Victory Villa Elementary School Principal Margaret Roberts will be joined by BCPS Interim Superintendent Verletta White and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to break ground for a new, $39 million school to replace the existing structure.

The groundbreaking will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 17, at the Victory Villa Elementary School site, located at 500 Compass Road in Middle River (21220).

The new school, which is scheduled to open to students for the 2018-2019 school year, is designed to increase capacity at the school from 326 to 735.

 

Baltimore County honors 7 local heroes

District 5 Hero 2017 Anna Norris
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Anna Norris, and Councilman David Marks

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz honored seven community leaders on Thursday in a “Neighborhood Heroes” awards program highlighting Baltimore County residents who are making unique and significant contributions in the community.

“These folks are our unsung heroes, truly impressive and folks who unselfishly devote their time and energies and expertise because they simply want to give back and keep our communities strong,” said Kamenetz.

Award winners, nominated by their neighbors and community partners, include:

Eric Addison – longtime resident of the Colonial Village neighborhood in Pikesville, who has mounted a one-man litter clean-up effort for the past ten years,

Kelly Carter – Reisterstown resident, Executive Director of the Liberty Road Business Association and active community volunteer,

Purnell Glenn – Miramar Landing Homeowners Association President and active environmental advocate and volunteer,

Anna Norris – Perry Hall grandmother, school puppeteer and founder of the Tender Loving Care Circle volunteers, who donate hand-made blankets and comfort items to children’s organizations,

Jay Patel – 20-year Greater Oella Community Association President, community volunteer and store owner.

Frank Regan – longtime Timonium community leader and former Baltimore County Library Board of Trustees member,

Jean Ann Walker – retired elementary school teacher, church volunteer and historian with the Dundalk Patapsco Neck Historical Society

Implementation of police body camera program completed in Baltimore County

Baltimore County Police Body CamerasBaltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced on Wednesday that the county had successfully completed its aggressive schedule of equipping all uniformed police officers with body-worn cameras.

“Our police and information technology professionals implemented this important transparency initiative in a thorough and expedited manner,” said Kamenetz. “I appreciate the concerted efforts of our many partners including the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge Number 4, State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger and Sheriff R. Jay Fisher. We received valuable input from many stakeholders including the NAACP, ACLU, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and representatives from the Latino community and other community groups.”

In the fall of 2015, Kamenetz and Police Department leaders decided to move forward with deploying the cameras, despite recommendations of a workgroup to wait and continue studying the complex legal and operational issues related to the cameras, data storage and privacy.

“Waiting wasn’t a good option because these cameras are such a valuable tool in strengthening the relationship of trust and understanding with the community. By objectively capturing the actions of officers in the field, they improve transparency and help reduce complaints against officers and facilitate more efficient, effective prosecutions,” Kamenetz said.

In October of 2016, Baltimore County acted to accelerate the full implementation of the body camera program by fourteen months by increasing overtime funds to triple the rate of officer training.

“The body-worn camera program has already proven helpful in a number of arrests and prosecutions, and as we move forward we are committed to adapting our program as best practices and new issues may evolve,” said Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan.

“Body cameras are a valuable law enforcement tool that helps to protect officers and the public alike, and I think that County Executive Kamenetz was wise to move forward quickly with equipping our officers,” said County Council Chairman Tom Quirk.

Program Costs

The first five years of the program will cost $7.1 million. That includes $1.25 million for the cameras and related equipment and $5.9 million for maintenance and storage. The annual cost of running the BWC program is estimated at $1.6 million, including ongoing officer training and the cost of hiring at least 21 additional full-time personnel in several departments to manage the program.

Video Storage and Access

Since the Body Worn Camera program was initiated in 2015, Baltimore County has processed more than 250,000 recordings including 45,000 hours of video and has transferred more than 79,000 files to the States Attorney’s Office (67,000 videos and 11,800 photographs).

Storage and maintenance of massive amounts of video, and responding to public information requests are challenges requiring dedicated human resources support. Baltimore County’s implementation program included the hiring of additional IT support staff, evidence specialists, criminal records processors, forensic specialists, attorneys, training personnel and public information specialists.

Public Information Laws

Body camera video is treated the same as any other public record, subject to release under the Maryland Public Information Act and other relevant laws. Video footage of incidents also assists in resolving investigations by insurance companies, attorneys, the Motor Vehicle Administration and others through the Maryland Public Information Act.

The program includes public outreach to ensure that citizens are aware that these videos are public records, and that citizens as well as police will be portrayed.