ANNAPOLIS—The Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention has announced that 22 law enforcement agencies and prosecutors will share almost $1 million in funds to reduce gun violence. The grants totaling $928,478.00 are going to agencies across the state, from Allegany County to Worcester County. However, no agency in the southern Maryland tri-county area is slated to receive funds.
"Violent crimes are at their lowest level since 1975, when current record keeping began," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "One reason for that has been the commitment of the dedicated men and women of Maryland law enforcement. They have worked tirelessly to remove guns for our streets and keep our communities safe places in which to live and work."
The funds are awarded under Maryland's Responsible Gun Safety Act of 2000. Their purpose is to help local law enforcement agencies develop and implement strategies specifically intended to reduce gun related crime in the State. Under that law, GOCCP may consider funding for programs that address the following criteria:
-- Comprehensive and coordinated law enforcement and prosecution programs that target criminals and juveniles who use or illegally possess firearms;
-- Law enforcement and prosecution salaries and overtime in support of firearms reduction programs;
-- Covert firearms related investigations and debriefing of criminal and juvenile arrestees and offenders for information related to illegal firearms trafficking;
-- Initiatives that support the identification of illegal firearms traffickers and the tracing of firearms used to commit crimes or delinquent acts;
-- The purchase of technology and information systems to support firearms violence reduction initiatives;
-- Other efforts that aid in the apprehension and prosecution of criminals and juveniles who use or illegally possess firearms; and
-- Regional information sharing and collaborative systems are a priority.
The grant program is administered by GOCCP and overseen by the Maryland Cease Fire Council. The Council is made up of eleven members drawn from law enforcement and criminal justice and chaired by the Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
Source: Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention