Posted On: March 18, 2011

Maryland Legislature Considers Bill to Notify Schools of Drug Arrests

Maryland criminal law already requires police officers to notify a student’s school if the student is arrested outside of school for any one of a long list of crimes. Now, the legislature is considering a bill that would add arrests for possession or administration of a controlled substance - known commonly as “drug dealing” - to that list, according to a recent article in The Herald-Mail.

The bill, introduced by Washington/Allegheny Delegate LeRoy E. Myers, Jr., adds drug crimes to the list of reportable crimes already included in the Safe Schools Act, such as murder, malicious defacing of property, and possessing firearms. Del. Myers says that he believes the current version of the Safe Schools Act overlooked drug crimes and that if schools were aware of a student’s arrest on a drug-related charge, the school may be able to help the student avoid similar arrests in the future.

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Posted On: March 15, 2011

Maryland Legislature Considers Making Domestic Violence a Separate Crime

Maryland’s state legislature is currently considering two bills that would make domestic violence a crime separate from other assaults, according to a recent article in The Maryland Gazette. A separate domestic violence charge would allow the state to keep better track of domestic violence and abuse statistics and make it easier to punish repeat offenders with increasingly severe penalties, according to lawmakers.

The bills - one in each chamber of the legislature - follow actions by Maryland counties to distinguish and track domestic violence occurrences. In particular, Prince George’s County recently established a system of protective orders for domestic violence cases.

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Posted On: March 10, 2011

Maryland Capitol Police Use Forensic Video System to Improve Investigations

The Maryland Capitol Police, who provide security and law enforcement services for Maryland government buildings in Baltimore and Annapolis, recently acquired a video analysis system designed to make security video images more clear. The new technology is intended to make it easier for the Maryland Capitol Police to spot wrongdoing, according to a recent press release.

The system, known as “dTective,” is designed to analyze security camera recordings and to compensate for shortcomings in videos, such as bad lighting, foggy or rainy weather conditions, and lack of clarity. Security officers hope that, by getting clearer security camera images, they will be able to identify suspects more easily and to save time and money on investigations. The system can also blur or remove images of innocent passersby, thus protecting their privacy if the camera footage is used in court.

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