Governor Martin O'Malley participated in several Baltimore-area celebrations of "National Night Out" this evening, while Lt. Governor Brown attended community gatherings in Prince George's County. Officials from the O'Malley-Brown Administration participated in similar events this evening throughout Maryland. The Administration was represented by Cabinet members, staff, and other representatives at nearly 100 events this evening. National Night Out is celebrated nationwide, and includes block parties, cookouts, citizen walks, and other events designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support and participation in local anticrime programs, and strengthen the partnerships between police and community.
"Together, we've driven violent crime and property crime down to their lowest rates ever reported, thanks to the dedication of law enforcement and the cooperation of local communities," said Governor O'Malley. "National Night Out is both a celebration of our accomplishments, and a recognition that there is still more work to be done. Protecting the public's safety is among our most solemn obligations as public servants, and these events illustrate that we're all in this together."
"While violent crime in Maryland is at a historic low, there is still much work to be done. Protecting our residents and improving public safety remains a top priority for the O'Malley-Brown administration and we will continue to use every resource possible to prevent crime and save lives," said Lt. Governor Brown. "By strengthening our partnerships with community members, faith groups, advocacy organizations, and county and municipal police departments, we will continue to drive positive change in our neighborhoods."
Through the innovative use of public safety technology, unprecedented information sharing across borders, and strategic reforming of long-troubled public safety state agencies, law enforcement personnel throughout Maryland have driven crime to historic lows:
* Violent crime at its lowest rate ever reported.
* Homicides at their lowest rate ever reported.
* Robberies at their lowest rate ever reported.
* Aggravated Assaults at their lowest rate since 1976.
* Motor vehicle thefts at their lowest rate ever reported.
* Property crime at its lowest rate ever reported.
* Total crime at its lowest rate ever reported.
The O'Malley-Brown Administration works with state and local criminal justice agencies to develop and implement five, basic yet essential crime control strategies:
1. Identify high risk offenders, hold them accountable, and improve outcomes for offenders through effective re-entry services.
2. Enhance warrant service to swiftly remove violent offenders from the streets.
3. Maximize the use of DNA samples and findings to convict the guilt and exonerate the innocent.
4. Expand efforts to reduce illegal gun use and possession.
5. Modernize crime fighting and information sharing by maximizing the use of the best available technology.
Since taking office, Governor O'Malley developed the Violence Prevention Initiative, focusing resources to holding accountable the small group of adult and juvenile offenders under State supervision who are most likely to engage in violent crime. The Administration has implemented a targeted approach to warrant service, prioritizing outstanding warrants for the highest risk offenders.
After inheriting a shameful 24,000 backlog of DNA samples, Governor O'Malley dedicated the necessary resources to clearing that backlog, resulting in more than 220 murderers, rapists, robbers and other offenders arrested and removed from Maryland's streets. Governor O'Malley has championed other innovative uses of public safety technology, including the creation of the Public Safety Dashboard, enabling law enforcement to access more than 92 databases at once, now receiving up to 40,000 queries a day.