Governor Hogan Announces Expanded, $500 Million Re-Fund The Police Initiative, Reintroduction of Major Crime Legislation
ANNAPOLIS, MD (STL.News) Governor Larry Hogan today announced the expansion of his Re-Fund The Police Initiative to a three-year, $500 million investment in increased support for law enforcement, and for increased crime control and victim protection services across the state. The governor also announced that he will reintroduce legislation to address violent crime during the upcoming session of the Maryland General Assembly.
In recognition of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, the governor was joined for today’s announcements by state police agency leaders, including Chief Mike Wilson of the Maryland Capitol Police, Colonel Adrian Baker of the Maryland Natural Resources Police, Major Jerome Howard of the Maryland Transit Administration Police, Chief Kevin Anderson of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, and Lt. Colonel Roland Butler of the Maryland State Police.
“Even in the most progressive cities all across the country, leaders are now following our lead and admitting that instead of defunding, they need more investment in public safety,” said Governor Hogan. “There is nothing more important than addressing the violent crime crisis in our state and our effort to re-fund the police and to give them the support and the resources they need to do their jobs more effectively.”
The governor’s expanded three-year, Re-Fund The Police Initiative includes:
- $220 million for historic salary increases and bonuses for law enforcement officers to help ensure more competitive compensation and to help with recruitment and retention, as well as police scholarship programs
- $137 million for a 50% increase in state police aid to local jurisdictions statewide
- $50 million for major capital improvements for Maryland State Police barracks and a new tactical services building for the Special Operations Division
- $37 million to fully fund victim services providers
- $30 million in Neighborhood Safety Grants to support hardware upgrades, lighting, cameras, and increased security services for community organizations, business districts, and main streets
As previously announced, the initiative also includes:
- A 100% state-funded match for all Crime Stoppers rewards that lead to arrests
- $24 million to create a new Accountability Resources Fund, which will be used to provide more body cams, de-escalation training, and other critical tools for state and local police agencies
- $1 million for the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association and the Maryland Sheriffs’ Association to further expand operational training and support
Additional line-item details will be available in the FY23 budget.
Will Reintroduce Major Crime Legislation. The governor announced that he will once again introduce legislation to address violent crime during the session of the Maryland General Assembly that begins Wednesday:
- The Violent Firearms Offender Act significantly toughens penalties for offenders who use and illegally possess firearms, as well as those who illegally supply firearms to criminals.
- The Judicial Transparency Act will require the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy to track and publish detailed information on the sentences that are handed down by judges for violent crimes.
- The governor will also introduce the Re-Fund The Police Act to make the increase in local aid permanent.
- Directs Division of Parole & Probation to Begin Tracking All Open Warrants. Governor Hogan also directed Secretary Robert L. Green of the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services and the Division of Parole & Probation to begin aggressively tracking all open warrants, beginning in high crime areas in Baltimore City, in order to take steps to hold judges accountable and help local law enforcement get more offenders off the streets.