Includes Targeted Assistance for Baltimore City, Truth-in-Sentencing Legislation, Intelligence Sharing to Combat Gangs and Criminal Networks Across Maryland
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today joined with federal, state, and local law enforcement officers and officials to announce a series of initiatives to combat criminal gang enterprises and repeat violent offenders responsible for terrorizing Baltimore City and participating in violent crime throughout the state. The governor’s announcements include state and federal law enforcement assistance targeting the violent crime ravaging Baltimore City; legislation to ensure that violent criminals serve their full prison sentence; and a new, collaborative data-sharing network to help prosecutors and law enforcement bring down criminal networks across the state.
Joining the governor to make the announcement were Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford; Johnny Hughes, U.S. Marshal for Maryland; Colonel William “Bill” Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Colonel Woodrow “Jerry” Jones, Chief of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police; Colonel Robert “Ken” Ziegler, Superintendent of the Maryland Natural Resources Police; Colonel Mike Wilson, Chief of the Department of General Services, Maryland Capitol Police; Colonel John Gavrilis, Chief of the Maryland Transit Administration Police; Glenn Fueston, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention; Walter “Pete” Landon, Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security; Chris Shank, Chief Legislative Officer; and Keiffer Mitchell, Senior Advisor to the Governor. Representatives of several federal law enforcement partners also attended, including Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Dan Board; Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Don Hibbert; and Special Agent in Charge of the Homeland Security Investigations Baltimore Field Office Andre Watson.
“Let me be crystal clear – I have absolutely no tolerance whatsoever for these repeat violent offenders or these criminal gangs causing lawlessness in our streets,” said Governor Hogan. “Our focus is to give law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges the tools they need to get these violent criminals off the streets and into prison.”
In 2016, more than 330 drug trafficking organizations were identified as operating within Maryland, and law enforcement agencies identified over 10,000 individuals associated with gangs and over 5,000 firearms involved in crimes. The Baltimore Police Department has reported that nearly 90% of homicide victims have criminal records averaging over 10 arrests, and nearly half have been previously arrested for gun crimes.
To address the critical levels of violence in Baltimore, the governor announced several immediate steps state and federal agencies are taking to assist the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) in going after violent criminals. The governor directed the Maryland State Police and other state police agencies operating in the city to expand their patrols in order to establish a more visible police presence in high-crime areas. He also announced that the state police will assist the Baltimore Police Department with serving high-priority warrants for violent crime-related arrests, and that over 200 state Parole and Probation officers will partner with city officers to locate repeat violent parole offenders.
Governor Hogan also announced that the U.S. Marshals Service will be sending over 80 marshals and federally-designated officers to conduct an aggressive sweep of Baltimore City to assist the state and city with high-priority violent arrest warrants. Finally, the governor directed the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and the Maryland Stadium Authority to work directly with the city to identify vacant properties in the highest-crime areas for expedited demolition under Project C.O.R.E., the joint state-city initiative that has already removed over 1,200 blighted properties across the city.