Charles County Sheriff’s Office Receives $70k In Grant Funding - Southern Maryland Headline News

Charles County Sheriff’s Office Receives $70k In Grant Funding

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office today announced that it has obtained several new grants.  The grants were awarded by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) to support a number of public safety efforts in the community.

The Sheriff’s Office received $36,201 in grant funding to purchase new software for the Crime Analysis Unit. The two employees assigned to this unit analyze an enormous amount of data related to crimes and crime trends to support the efforts of patrol officers and detectives. The software will allow them to analyze their data quicker and more effectively. More than 2,000 organizations in more than 100 countries rely on the same software for investigations and intelligence analysis.

A $33,750 grant will fund a Cold Case Squad that will be comprised of experienced homicide detectives who will work overtime hours to focus their resources on cold cases, the unsolved cases that are not currently being investigated. Advances in technology have enhanced the analysis of evidence especially DNA, fingerprinting and ballistics. Detectives will use these tools and their investigative experience to re-examine unsolved homicides, suspicious deaths, rapes and other sex offenses, child abuse cases, missing person cases, commercial armed robberies and other cold cases. Solving these cases will provide closure to families who have suffered a terrible loss, assist in bringing perpetrators to justice and provide crucial information when the crime is committed by a serial perpetrator.

The Special Victims Unit of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for the County’s portion of the Sex Offender Registry. A $25,000 Sex Offender Compliance and Enforcement in Maryland grant will provide overtime funding to support the compliance enforcement program. The funds will be used by detectives to conduct compliance checks and by the Warrant/Fugitive Unit to locate the absconders.

Because of the rapid increase in traffic fatalities in 2005 and the similar pace of fatal crashes so far this year, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office applied for and received a grant to purchase additional radar equipment. The $23,850 grant will support the purchase of 12 radar units that will be used in on-going efforts to deter speeders and reduce motor vehicle collisions. Speed is a factor in many crashes and the Sheriff’s Office hopes to reduce violations, and subsequently speed-related collisions, when it receives the radar equipment in August.

The GOCCP and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland awarded the Sheriff’s Office a $15,000 gang planning grant as part of a program that helps local jurisdictions make accurate assessments of gang activities in their areas. The Sheriff’s Office will work with local government officials and community groups to complete a comprehensive assessment of gang activity in Charles County, including the current programs and resources that can be leveraged to address prevention, intervention and enforcement services directed at gangs. During this process, four community meetings and a countywide youth summit will be held to focus on gang activity and address gangs and the associated problems including youth crime and delinquency, substance abuse, crimes of violence, gun-related crimes, nuisance abatement, enforcement, the community’s capacity to provide needed services and the adequate existing infrastructure. The Sheriff’s Office will publish a report on gang activity in Charles County and develop a three-year strategic plan to address existing gang problems through intervention and enforcement and to prevent future gang problems.

In September 2005, Sheriff Frederick E. Davis created a Tactical Response Squad, which is comprised of veteran officers with a variety of training and law enforcement experience. These officers address whatever public safety issues are of immediate concern and their efforts will be supported by a $10,800 grant used to purchase bicycles for the officers assigned to the squad. The bicycles will allow officers to make quick and stealthy approaches and to be more efficient and mobile in areas that are inaccessible to motor vehicles. The officers will patrol residential and commercial areas and bike paths.

The Sheriff’s Office obtained a $9,651 grant to enhance the capabilities of the crime lab. The funding will provide equipment used to enhance the quality of digital photographs in domestic violence cases, assaults, homicides and other incidents. Improved print quality will help patrol officers as well as the prosecutors who present the images to juries. The equipment will also improve the quality of latent fingerprints, which will be entered into the Maryland Automated Fingerprint Identification System. It will also allow forensic science personnel to transmit images via e-mail to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, prosecutors and other law enforcement personnel. The grant will also fund a heavy-duty Crime Lab vehicle with an on-board generator, lighting equipment, photographic equipment and refrigeration to store biological evidence and prevent it from deteriorating. Other equipment will allow for latent fingerprint processing, collection of trace evidence and shoe and tire impressions.

A $7,820 grant will fund 40 body armor vests as part of the New/Replacement Body Armor program, which replaces vests that have surpassed the manufacture’s five-year warranty and will provide protection for new officers who will graduate from the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy in the fall. The important program ensures all officers have the highest level of protection.

The Sheriff’s Office domestic violence initiatives will be enhanced by a $3,000 grant. The funding will assist with overtime costs for domestic violence unit personnel and will provide training for officer survival, warrant service, domestic violence and Spanish classes.

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