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TMCNet:  O'Malley proposes 48 percent increase to police aid

[January 16, 2013]

O'Malley proposes 48 percent increase to police aid

Jan 16, 2013 (The Capital - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Touting a 30-year low in violent crime, Governor Martin O'Malley proposed a nearly 50 percent increase in aid to local law enforcement agencies to keep Maryland safe in the coming fiscal year.

O'Malley's budget proposal includes $2.3 billion in public safety, a increase of $280 million over the fiscal 2007 budget.

O'Malley proposed $305.1 million in funding for the Maryland State Police -- an increase of $2.5 percent in fiscal 2013. The money will fund 1,500 state trooper positions, including 32 flight medics to staff Medevac helicopters.

The proposed FY 2014 budget also includes funding for two trooper classes to replace officers lost through retirement and attrition.

O'Malley also proposed $1.3 funding for Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services -- a 2.1 percent increase from fiscal 2013.

Public safety accounts for 11 percent of the overall FY 2014 budget.

The funding includes: --$118 million for statewide public safety initiatives, ensuring effective communication, information sharing and providing resources to police on the street.; --$67.5 million in aid to local governments and municipalities for police aid, an increase of 21.9 million (48 percent) over the current fiscal year.; --$24.8 million in local law enforcement grants targeting domestic violence, substance abuse and gun trafficking.; --$105.9 million for the Violence Prevention Initiative to identify and supervise offenders most likely to commit or be the victims of violent crime.; --$500,000 to create a Center for School Safety to bring public school and law enforcement officials together to create a comprehensive school safety plan.; --$1.5 million to Operation Safe Kids and an additional $750,000 for global positioning system (GPS) devices to monitor high-risk youth.; --$3.7 million to provide Evidence-Based Practices services to some 300 juvenile offenders.; --$5.6 million for residential private per diem placements to move youth committed to the Department of Juvenile Services into placements quickly.; --$7 million to continue to overhaul State Police helicopter fleet.; --$3.7 million to expand Maryland Correctional Enterprises to provide training and employment opportunities to inmates.; --$4.3 million for deconstruction of the Maryland House of Corrections that closed in 2007.; and --$23 million to finish design and begin construction on the Cheltenham Youth Facility in southern Maryland.; and --$41.7 million for the continued development and implementation of the Maryland Public Safety Communications System to provide a wireless, interoperable radio system for law enforcement and public safety agencies, as well as first responders.; and --$51.2 million to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to oversee federal Homeland Security directives and to ensure the state is prepared to respond to natural disasters, terrorist attacks pandemics and other large-scale emergencies.

___ (c)2013 The Capital (Annapolis, Md.) Visit The Capital (Annapolis, Md.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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