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Public Statements

Issue Position: Public Safety

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

For nearly two decades, Doug Gansler has made the safety of Marylanders and their families his top priority, combating gangs and violent crime, promoting Internet safety and transparency, targeting public corruption, preventing domestic violence, fighting alcohol and tobacco abuse, and perhaps most importantly mentoring our youth.
Combating Gangs & Violent Crime

* Led the fight to pass the Maryland Gang Prosecution Act of 2007, the first gang-specific law in our State, which, among other things, established the Attorney General's Gang Unit, enhancing our ability to coordinate gang crime fighting efforts statewide.
* Established a single Criminal Division in the Office, managing all criminal investigations and prosecutions, including environmental crimes, securities fraud, gun trafficking, Medicaid fraud, elder abuse, and gang prosecutions, resulting in more efficient and enhanced investigations and prosecutions.
* Working with Attorneys General from around the Country, issued a School and Campus Safety Report setting out recommendations for preventing and responding to violence in schools and on college campuses.
* Supported legislation expanding DNA sampling to arrestees of "crimes of violence" and burglaries to improve public safety and solve violent crimes in our communities.

Promoting Internet Safety & Transparency

* Established the Internet Safety Working Group with representatives from the Maryland State Police, Maryland State Department of Education and the University of Maryland to develop strategies and programs to protect children from the underbelly of the Internet
* Worked with Attorneys General throughout the Country to ensure that Facebook and MySpace do all they can to protect children from internet predators -- from turning over the names of registered sex offenders using the site to developing age and identity verification; the settlement agreement has resulted in the removal of numerous registered sex offenders from these sites and subjected many of those predators to law enforcement actions.
* Developed and implemented a unique Internet safety initiative, creating a statewide network to educate children and their parents about safe use of the Internet
* Thwarted the efforts of an online gossip site that provided Maryland students with an anonymous platform for cyber bullying, defamation, and slander
* Got online classifieds provider Craigslist to eliminate its unregulated online brothel, and to manually review listings in the "adult services" section to prevent illegal activity.
* Developed Internet safety videos for grade schoolers, tweens and high schoolers, examining the risks associated with the Internet and how to avoid them

Fighting Public Corruption

* Successfully prosecuted a former State employee for stealing over $1 million from the state in a 10-year scheme that involved processing fictitious claims to the State's Kidney Disease Program.
* Successfully prosecuted nine individuals as part of a lengthy investigation of corruption in the Construction Services Department at University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Preventing Domestic Violence

* Successfully championed legislation taking firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers as Chair of the Governor's Council on Family Violence Prevention, an intergovernmental task force addressing issues of domestic violence in Maryland.
* Confronted the growing problem of human trafficking by establishing Maryland's Human Trafficking Task Force. which has set up roving operations to identify victims and traffickers, deputized local law enforcement to assist in federal human trafficking investigations, provided training for law enforcement officers, and reached out to persons who might be victimized by traffickers. The task force has been instrumental in numerous successful prosecutions related to human trafficking in Maryland.

Taking on Alcohol & Tobacco Abuse

* Stop Marketing and Sale of Tobacco to Minors
o Sued RJ Reynolds Company for violating 1998 Consent Decree that prohibited the use of cartoons and brand merchandise in the marketing of its products; RJ Reynolds agreed to end Camel Farm marketing campaign and pay $150,000 to State of Maryland.
o Authored letter signed by other Attorneys General that successfully led movie studios to include pervasive cigarette smoking as one of the four factors in their ratings of movies.
o Reached agreement with Shell Oil covering 13,000 Shell outlets across the country to curb tobacco sales to minors.

* Stop Marketing and Sale of Alcohol to Minors
o Got Anheuser Busch to pull Spykes, a line of fruit flavored 12% alcohol beverages that fit neatly inside a purse and popular among underage girls, off the market.
o Got MillerCoors and Anheuser Busch to pull caffeine-enhanced alcoholic "energy" drinks -- particularly problematic given their popularity among young and underage drinkers -- off the market.
o Led effort to urge the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to investigate allegations that Sparks and Sparks Plus alcoholic energy drinks contain unsafe levels of caffeine.
o Joined other Attorneys General in calling upon Anheuser-Busch to employ additional safeguards to prevent underage access to its new Bud.TV promotional website.

Mentoring Youth

* Founded an inner-city lacrosse league in Baltimore providing lacrosse skills training, league play, and mentoring to underserved inner city youth at no cost, while also helping program participants identify and pursue team play, educational, and scholarship opportunities available to them at area schools.
* Teamed up with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to launch the 2010 Maryland Badges for Baseball youth mentoring program. Working with Sheriffs' offices, the program engages law enforcement officials from nine jurisdictions in Maryland as mentors/coaches for at-risk youth.
* Partnering with Community Law in Action to provide educational mentoring to local high schools students, including guidance on the college application process, with 100% of program participants graduating high school and attending college.

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