Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley delivered the keynote address at the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Annual Summer Conference in Ocean City on Saturday. O'Malley outlined his plans to work with local jurisdictions to confront state and local budget challenges, and outlined three broad themes to move Maryland forward: workforce creation, sustainability, and security integration.

O'Malley said security integration "means protecting our people and communities through seamless coordination and consistent information-sharing. It means that the criminal justice system must work as a system, not a collection of parallel lines -- and parallel cultures and parallel datasets and parallel intelligence systems -- that never meet.

"Security integration must be horizontal, as well as vertical," he said, outlining several initiatives including:

  • Maryland has begun a new and groundbreaking partnership with the District of Columbia to combat illegal gun trafficking and address our unacceptably high number of firearm deaths.
  • The state has created a users group of local law enforcement information technology representatives, who advise state agencies as to what state databases they need to access to do their jobs. "For example," said O'Malley, "we're now pushing out motor vehicle photos to local law enforcement so they can positively identify people that they stop. Removing the anonymity under which these criminals operate is half the battle. Security integration is how we do it."
  • "We're sharing live arrest data with Washington, D.C.," continued O'Malley, "so that our officials receive immediate notification when a parolee or probationer is arrested there -- and vice versa. As recently as January," said O'Malley, "we had a single state trooper going by hand through the criminal records of 15,000 probationers to determine who owed DNA, a task that would've taken 26 years to complete. Now that we're blending the State Police database with the Parole and Probation database, we can complete this identification in six days and go out to collect the sample."

"Beyond those short-term wins," said O'Malley, "we're also building a statewide criminal justice information system that will enable criminal justice professionals to track offenders from arrest on, without having to use 25 different passwords for 25 different state computer systems. Interoperability is a fundamental requirement for security integration, and we will make it a reality"

Wayne Hanson  |  Editor