SALISBURY, MD (August 18, 2011) - Governor Martin O’Malley and Delaware Governor Jack Markell today launched an important new effort by both states to collaborate and share information across jurisdictional boundaries about violent or potentially violent offenders. Details of the new initiative were announced at a meeting today on the campus of Salisbury University.
“In our continued effort to make Maryland a national leader in public safety and homeland security preparedness, we support effective communication and information sharing across all levels of government and state borders,” said Governor O’Malley. “The most important responsibilities we have in government are to create jobs and protect the public’s safety. Working together with our partners across the State, we have driven violent crime and property crime rates down to their lowest levels in recorded history. By reaching beyond our borders, using innovative technology and sharing information, we will continue to drive the levels down even further.”
“Criminals and crime have no boundaries,” said Delaware Governor Jack Markell. “It’s our responsibility to work together across state lines and share information that can benefit citizens of both states, especially as technology allows us to know more and do more. By working collaboratively and using our collective knowledge, we serve everyone by making our streets and our communities safer.”
Delaware Governor Markell and key Delaware officials, including Elizabeth Olsen, Deputy Secretary of the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security; Colonel Robert M. Coupe, Superintendent of the Delaware State Police; and Alan Grinstead, Deputy Bureau Chief of Delaware Community Corrections, joined their counterparts from Maryland for the meeting that included Gary Maynard, Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Colonel Marcus Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Sam Abed, Secretary of the Department of Juvenile Services.
The new strategic partnership will allow parole and probation officials and law enforcement in both states to exchange information with one another on arrests, enabling the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation to take appropriate action if a suspect from Maryland violates the terms of release while in Delaware. Additionally, law enforcement and public safety officials in both states will be able to prioritize warrant service. Between January and June of this year, there were 389 people wanted in Delaware with Maryland addresses and just over 1000 people arrested in Delaware that had Maryland addresses. Additionally, in the past year, 22 youths from Delaware had contact with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. With this shared information, the Maryland State Police and local police will be able to move more effectively to get the most dangerous suspects off the streets and better track youth currently monitored by the Department of Juvenile Services. These initial steps could lead to other information-sharing opportunities including information from license plate readers to track stolen or suspicious vehicles and pawn shop databases to locate stolen property.
The new Maryland-Delaware effort is similar to the Safe Streets Program operating in Maryland and Delaware. Safe Streets programs have been launched in Salisbury, Annapolis and Wilmington. Safe Streets allows law enforcement officials to share data and hold offenders accountable for their actions through a cooperative effort of law enforcement at the federal, state, county and local level. Safe Streets uses an innovative security integration model of multi-agency collaboration with federal, state, local law enforcement, public safety agencies, and community partners to aggressively track offenders to reduce drug, gun, and other major crimes. Through a combination of improved police tactics and practices, modern and enhanced technology, and the integration of expanded community partnerships, the initiative has taken significant steps to reduce crime and promote safer neighborhoods and communities.