ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Governor Larry Hogan is expanding one of his signature initiatives he calls "Refunding the Police."
On Monday Hogan committed funding for three additional years, with the goal of convincing state lawmakers to make it permanent.
Broken down, the overall initiative would provide:
- $220 million for historic salary increases and bonuses for law enforcement officers to help ensure more competitive compensation and to help with recruitment and retention, as well as police scholarship programs
- $137 million for a 50% increase in state police aid to local jurisdictions statewide
- $50 million for major capital improvements for Maryland State Police barracks and a new tactical services building for the Special Operations Division
- $37 million to fully fund victim services providers
- A 100% state-funded match for all Crime Stoppers rewards that lead to arrests
- $24 million to create a new Accountability Resources Fund, which will be used to provide more body cams, de-escalation training, and other critical tools for state and local police agencies
- $1 million for the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association and the Maryland Sheriffs’ Association to further expand operational training and support
With the 2022 General Assembly getting underway Wednesday, Hogan is again proposing two bills that have failed to pass the legislature for two years.
They include the Judicial Transparency Act and the Violent Firearms Offender Act
The first would require the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing to track and publish information on the sentences that are handed down for violent crimes.
The other aims to significantly toughen penalties for offenders who use and illegally possess firearms, and those illegally supplying them to criminals.
“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,” said Hogan. “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.”
In the meantime, Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services and the Division of Parole & Probation to begin tracking all open warrants, in hopes of holding judges accountable and to help keep repeat offenders from returning to the streets.