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Maryland Governor Increases ‘Re-Fund The Police’ Program to $500M

Annapolis, MD – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced Monday that he was expanding his “Re-Fund the Police” initiative and increased the state’s financial commitment to $500 million over the next three years.

Hogan first introduced the program established to re-fund anti-crime initiatives in October of 2021 and committed $150 million to raise officers’ salaries, boost recruitment, and to pay for bodycams, de-escalation training, and other programs, WJZ reported.

On Jan. 10, surrounded by law enforcement leadership from agencies across the state, the governor announced he had upped the ante to $500 million.

“There is nothing more important than addressing the violent crime crisis in our state, and our effort to ‘re-fund the police’ and to give them the support and the resources they need to do our jobs more effectively,” he said.

Hogan said a Maryland State Police fund to assist local jurisdictions had been increased by 50 percent, up to $137 million, WJZ reported.

The governor said he planned to introduce legislation that would make the increases permanent.

He also promised another $220 million to increase salaries of law enforcement officers across the state, WJZ reported.

The governor announced he was putting $50 million into capital improvements at Maryland State Police facilities and $37 million into victims’ services programming.

The bolstered re-funding initiative also included $30 million for Neighborhood Safety Grants that will provide cameras, lighting, more security, and other upgrades on main streets and in business districts, WJZ reported.

Hogan promised a 100-percent state-funded match for all Crime Stoppers rewards that lead to arrests, something he began putting into practice recently, WMAR reported.

The governor also announced on Jan. 10 that he would be re-introducing two pieces of legislation that have failed to pass two years in a row.

Hogan said the Violent Firearms Offender Act and Judicial Transparency Act would both be introduced again during the new legislative session, WJZ reported.

The Violent Firearms Offender Act laws would institute tougher sentences for repeat violent offenders who used guns during the commission of their crimes.

The Judicial Transparency Act would authorize reports on the sentences that were given out by judges in violent criminal cases, according to WJZ.

Hogan called the “defund the police” movement a “massive and utter failure.”

The governor said that even liberal cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City had started to restore public safety funding despite anti-police protests, WJZ reported.

“Even in the most progressive cities all across the country, leaders are now following our lead and admitting that instead of defunding, they need more investment in public safety,” Hogan said. “There is nothing more important than addressing the violent crime crisis in our state and our effort to re-fund the police and to give them the support and the resources they need to do their jobs more effectively.”

“Now we just need the Maryland General Assembly to do so,” he added.

The governor said that in addition to the refunding, he had also directed the head of the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services and the Division of Parole & Probation to start aggressively tracking all open warrants, starting with Baltimore City, The Bay Net reported.

He said the step was important in order to hold judges accountable and help local police agencies to get more criminals off the streets.

When Hogan first announced the “Re-fund the Police” program last fall, he singled out the skyrocketing violent crime problem in Baltimore and laid the blame squarely at the feet of Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby who has refused to prosecute what she considers to be lower-tiered crimes.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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