St. Mary's County Sheriff David Zylak announced today that the Sheriff's Department has received several grants to support law enforcement efforts in St. Mary's County. A summary of the various grants is provided below.
Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention:
* $20,000 for improving the effectiveness of the Sex Offender Registry Unit by increasing the number of follow-up verifications of registry information. Project "VERIFY" will increase the number of "round-ups" from once a year to once every quarter, and will increase the number of registered mailings to offenders from once a year to twice a year. To assist the Sex Offender Coordinator, the funding will support the hire of a Registry Support Specialist who will be responsible for data input into the Sex Offender Registry; maintaining and updating individual binders on each offender, coordinating schedules for the quarterly roundups; coordinating with the Department of Corrections when a Sheriff's Office inmate release is scheduled; and coordinating correspondence and verification of mailings to the offenders.
* $14,340 to continue Project "SAVE" (Sheriff's Anti-Violence Enforcement Unit) the Domestic Violence Unit which is designed to coordinate the law enforcement response to victims. The Domestic Violence Specialist, who was hired under the first year of the grant, will continue clerical duties thus enabling the Domestic Violence Coordinator to devote more time to direct service to victims, assuring: a quicker response after initial report of domestic abuse; increased visits to victims after a domestic abuse episode; improved information from law enforcement, notifying victims of rights and services available; and more consistent service of protection orders.
* $15,000 in additional monies for Project "SAVE" the Victims to enhance existing service efforts and meet the District and Circuit Court's guidelines for efficiency and promptness in serving the ex-partes and protective orders. The funding will enable the Domestic Violence Coordinator, on an overtime basis, to devote additional time to direct service to victims of domestic violence. Additionally, overtime funds for a deputy position will reduce the time between issuance of ex-partes and protective orders and their entry into the database and service to the assailant/suspect
* $16,353 for Project Cold Case re-examines the cold case files to determine which cases should be investigated and/or possibly closed. Through the use of advanced testing techniques, evidence will be available for prosecuting suspects or releasing innocent inmates. Closing cold cases serves to decrease the backlog cases, offers closure to the victims and families and increases public trust in law enforcement. The monies provide salary support and travel reimbursement.
* $12,000 for the Lexington Park/Great Mills Collaborative Supervision and Focused Enforcement (CSAFE) anti-crime program formerly known as "Hot Spots" has been awarded and funded by the Governor's Office. The Sheriff's Office funds have been approved for overtime. The grant funds will be used to compensate two (2) community police officers for CSAFE operations and compensate other officers participating in HEAT Team business, selective enforcement and community mobilization.
* $812,597 from the State Aid for Police Protection which is a continuing program, intended for and to be utilized towards providing adequate protection in the counties and municipalities in the State of Maryland.
* $406,800 in reimbursement monies for operating costs for sentenced inmates. The State reimburses the county for each day from the 91st day through the 365th day that the sentenced inmates are confined in a local correctional facility at a rate of reimbursement of 50% of the per diem rate.
Department of Justice:
* $493,614 in Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) funding to procure 73 Mobile Data Terminals to outfit the Patrol Division and Canine Unit. The deployment of mobile computer equipment will provide each user with direct and immediate access to available information thus providing the community and co-workers with efficient and effective means to law enforcement services.
* $116,703 in Homeland Security Grant monies to enhance law enforcement prevention of terrorism attacks and enhancing target capabilities. Monies for Fiscal Year 2007 have been designated to assist in the funding of the Mobile Data Terminals initiative.
* $15,760 in Federal Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) monies which can be used for training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support and information systems for criminal justice for law enforcement programs; prosecution and court programs; prevention and education programs; corrections and community corrections programs, drug treatment programs, and planning, evaluation and technology improvement programs.
Department of State Police:
* $17,500 in grant monies for sworn employee School Bus Safety Enforcement overtime efforts related to vehicles illegally passing school vehicles.
St. Mary's County Health Department:
* $16,000 for a collaborative and aggressive approach with the St. Mary's County Health Department to prevent the initiation of tobacco among young people and enforce the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors. The Health Department provides the funding through the tobacco settlement grants.
Department of Human Resources:
* $208,901 in grant monies to assist in providing services for the location of absent parents/obligators in child support cases which includes the processing and serving of criminal summons and subpoenas, civil and criminal warrants and writs of attachment and answering calls regarding child support matters. This Child Support Cooperative Reimbursement Agreement reimburses the expenditures related to staffing, training, maintenance and equipment needs for the child support unit.
Maryland State Highway Administration:
* $4,000 in funding to enable sworn employees with commercial vehicle enforcement responsibilities to patrol roads on an overtime status to perform routine commercial vehicle traffic enforcement and Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) North American Standard commercial vehicle (CMV) inspections. Roads selected will be those not normally patrolled by the Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section (MSP/CVES) or the Maryland Transportation Authority Police (MdTAP).