08 April, 2009

D.C. Public Safety Cross-Border Partnership

Mayor Fenty and Governor O’Malley Announce Continued Public Safety Cross-Border Partnership

Contact: Erica Stanley, 202-727-9226 (office)

Commitment to regular sessions enhances coordinated crime reduction efforts throughout region

WASHINGTON, DC - Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley met today to discuss ongoing efforts to enhance cross-border coordination in improving public safety throughout the region. In addressing the media, the leaders announced the establishment of regular joint sessions that will focus on implementing regional commitments to public safety and other initiatives, and measuring the attainment of the regional goals through the District’s CapStat program and Maryland’s StateStat office. These regional public safety commitments include information sharing on high risk offenders, expediting the execution of warrants for individuals wanted by another jurisdiction, tracking progress on monitoring repeat violent offenders and other issues.

As a critical part of this effort, the District and Maryland have committed to revising laws that present obstacles to extraditing violent offenders who commit crimes in DC, but live in Maryland. The Mayor is committed to ensuring that the District be able to issue and serve arrest warrants to anyone with a violent history who commits a crime in DC, regardless of where they live. Current legal constraints deem some low-level offenses to be non-extraditable, meaning a cross-border warrant cannot be served, without taking into consideration the prior history of an individual.

“We welcome this great opportunity to partner with Maryland as we continue our work to ensure public safety for District residents,” said Mayor Fenty. “Working together to improve our information-sharing capabilities is a win-win for better law enforcement practices and for protecting citizens throughout our region.”

“Our most solemn obligation to our citizens is protecting the public safety, improving the quality of life for working families throughout our region,” said Governor O’Malley. “Crime does not stop at the border, and criminals know the shortcomings of law enforcement agencies that don’t talk to each other. These cross-border partnerships are built on effective principles that enhance public safety and stop violent offenders in their tracks.”

In September 2008, Mayor Fenty, Governor O’Malley and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine held a regional summit to discuss cross-border crime and techniques to reduce it. Regional leaders agreed to several, coordinated crime prevention efforts, including improved regional supervision of offenders through identification of the most violent area offenders, information-sharing between probation officers and local police departments, and containing violent offenders by assigning them to handpicked agents with lighter caseloads. This agreement effectively opened the borders between jurisdictions while providing essential tracking information of the activities of violent offenders in the area.

This regional collaboration, information-sharing and needs assessment is a first-in-the-nation for cross-border, regional cooperative efforts. The agreement also empowers public safety officials to not only share data, but also to hold violent offenders accountable for their actions. In 2008, the District and Maryland exchanged information on more than 1,500 adult offenders as part of an initiative to exchange live data.

Since the September summit, local and state law enforcement officials have facilitated bimonthly planning sessions with parole, probation and juvenile justice officials from the District, Maryland and Virginia to develop a regional crime prevention strategy and identify goals and deliverables. The Metropolitan Police Department has developed the Most Violent Person (MVP) List of offenders who have multiple violent offenses, at least one gun charge, and a history of parole or probation violations in order to focus law enforcement activities on the region’s most violent offenders. The region has also implemented a joint warrant task force, a collaboration between the local and state governments in the District and Maryland, as well as with the US Marshals Service. The task force works to apprehend dangerous fugitives across jurisdictions.

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