This evening my wife, Katie, and I will join local communities to celebrate "National Night Out." Lt. Governor Brown and members of our Cabinet will also join in recognizing this annual crime prevention and awareness event throughout our State.
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 to its lowest rate since 1975. We've also driven homicides and total crime to their lowest levels since 1975, when modern crime tracking began. And property crime is also at its lowest level ever reported.
Tomorrow, we'll gather in Prince George's County to announce an initiative to expand the use of one of our most effective tools in combating vehicle thefts -- license plate readers. This unique technology allows officers to use vehicle mounted cameras that transmit license plate information in a split second, converting it to data, and comparing that data against stolen car and other databases. In many cases, stolen vehicles are now recovered in a matter of hours, driving vehicle thefts to their lowest rate in more than 20 years.
Together, using innovative public safety technology combined with the dedication of our local and state law enforcement officers, we've delivered dramatic reductions in crime across the State, making Maryland families and neighborhoods safer.