ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced today that Howard County law enforcement agencies will receive two major awards from the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth and Victim Services to recognize outstanding public safety initiatives.
The Howard County Police Department will receive recognition for incorporating effective crime prevention programs as an integral part of an overall community policing initiative. Additionally, Howard County will be recognized for a major and effective Violent Crimes Reduction Initiative, which entailed a months-long effort that focused resources on criminal networks and street gangs and resulted in multiple arrests.
I applaud the work of our Police Department, our prosecutors, our Sheriff’s deputies and all others who work tirelessly to ensure that members of our community not only are safe, but feel safe. We have provided unparalleled resources such as 24 additional officers in the past year, which was the largest increase in 15 years; as well as the full implementation of a body-worn camera program. Our best practices and the hard work of our law enforcement community is improving Howard County’s excellent quality of life for all.
Community policing is at the core of everything we do so we appreciate this recognition of our crime prevention programs. Our violent crimes initiative has had a significant impact on our communities by addressing issues like guns, gangs, drugs and repeat offenders.
“When the Howard County Police Department approached our office about having a strategic, joint effort to root out the engines of violence in our community, we eagerly accepted their proposal,” said State’s Attorney Rich Gibson. “Since then, we’ve been able to work collaboratively to build strong cases against those individuals and, we commend the Police Department for engaging in partnerships with relevant stakeholders.”
Howard County will receive the awards at a ceremony on December 1st. The awards cover the 2021 calendar year, and the formal recognition was delayed due to pandemic-related restrictions.
The first award, the Governor’s Crime Prevention Award for Law Enforcement agencies, is recognizing the Howard County Police Department for work in several key areas, including personal crime prevention programs; Community Resource Officers; the Rape, Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking Program; Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force; Elderly Crime Prevention Programs; Youth Crime Prevention Programs, and more.
The Violent Crimes Reduction Initiative award is recognizing a major operation called the Violent Crimes Reduction Initiative, which brought together detectives from divisions including violent crime, robbery, property crimes, gun investigations, drug investigations and our Repeat Offender Unit.
In partnership with the state’s attorney’s office, the initiative focused on criminal networks and street gangs that continued to disrupt the community. Months of work led to major indictments that targeted the Hoover Gang, and the department created a permanent Crime Reduction Teams to continue efforts.