Gov. Martin O'Malley, Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw, Maryland State Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, Prince George's County Sherriff Melvin C. High, and others came together June 2 to discuss new goals for preventing crime.
In 2007, O'Malley set a goal to reduce violent crime by 20 percent by 2012. Under the O'Malley-Brown Administration, violent crime has been driven down by 26 percent in the past seven years, the lowest crime reduction rate since 1975.
Under the O'Malley Brown-Administration, traffic deaths have been driven down to their lowest point since 1961, a 29.1 percent decrease since 2006. Property crimes have been driven down to their lowest point since 1975, and robberies saw a 29.2 percent decrease since 2006. Homicides have been driven down to their lowest level since 1985, a 32 percent decrease since 2006. The number of people incarcerated in Maryland's prison has been reduced to the lowest level since 1994.
Maryland has improved the security at the Port of Baltimore's MPA terminals to earn a near-perfect score for the sixth year in a row on the U.S. Coast Guard's assessment of security. Maryland has earned a ranking in the top category for states best prepared to respond to an emergency according to a 2012 report Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Trust America's Health Report. "Of course the reward for exceeding your goal it to come up with a higher goal," O'Malley said during the public safety event.
The new goal now is to reduce violence against women and children by 25 percent by 2018. In addition, they also want to reduce violent crime in MD by an additional 20 percent by the end of 2018.
In 2013, O'Malley proposed and signed the landmark 'Firearm Safety Act of 2013. This act requires licensing for handgun purchases, fingerprint background checks, bans 45 types of assault weapons and certain copycats, limits magazine capacity to 10 rounds, creates safeguards to keep guns away from the dangerously mentally ill, and creates a new Center for School Safety. "I believe that the fingerprinting is one of the best new solution because it will keep criminals away from purchasing guns," President of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence Vincent DeMarco told the AFRO.
According to state police records, the number of gun homicides in Maryland this year dropped by 21 percent between January 1 and April 30, compared to this time last year (85-67.) "I never use to check to the data of homicides because I was nervous of seeing the numbers," Baker said. "Now, due to the governor doing it, I check the numbers every morning."
During the same time frame, the number of non-fatal shootings in Maryland dropped 12 percent, from 170- to 149. "We are not satisfied and we are not done yet," Magaw said.