September 17, 2020

Media Contact: 

Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412 

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – County Executive Calvin Ball hosted a Public Safety Town Hall with Howard County leaders and officials yesterday evening. Leaders discussed handling operations through COVID-19, conveyed current efforts to keep our community safe and addressed social justice and equity issues, as well as provided an overview of their respective operations. Video of the event can be found here.

“Howard County has experienced an extraordinary year of challenges, and we’re living through a unique time of intersecting issues. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our public health and public safety,” said Ball. “This year’s national protests and conversations about racial injustices and inequities are critical ensuring that people in our community, no matter their race, feel safe. And amid these two crises, are the critical everyday actions of those who work to make Howard County safe for all.”

“Howard County Fire and Rescue is an all hazards department and we are standing our ground against the many challenges of COVID-19,” said Fire Chief William Anuszewski. “Our goal continues to be to deliver high quality fire and emergency medical services to the residents of Howard County. Even in a pandemic, our emergency responders are ready to serve you when you need us.”

“Each year, I look forward to participating in the county’s annual public safety forum,” said Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson. “It is a time for our office to not only highlight our accomplishments, but also address any concerns local residents may have as we diligently work to safeguard our community through the effective prosecution of crimes in Howard County.”

"Having an open dialogue with the people we serve is a critical part of community policing," said Police Chief Lisa Myers. "I'm glad for the opportunity to hear from our residents about their priorities and concerns, and sharing with them all that we are doing to ensure that our agency is serving with integrity, transparency and equality for everyone in Howard County." 

“I was grateful to join the town hall last night where I had the chance to interact with and update the community on the Howard County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Marcus Harris. “Our top priority is to provide a variety of quality services for citizens, and we continue to reach that goal every day.”  

“The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has spent the majority of 2020 working with our partners to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, the severe weather we have received this summer and the possible impacts from the historic number of tropical storms forming in the Atlantic,” said Mike Hinson, Director, Office of Emergency Management. “As we move forward, OEM will continue to implement its long-term mitigation and preparedness strategies within Howard County Government and in the community.”

“A safe school environment requires the collaborative efforts of staff, students, families and the community and I was grateful to join my colleagues across the county to hear the critical voices of our neighbors and community members,” said Thomas McNeal, Director of Security, Howard County Public School System.

“The opportunity to review the operations of the Department of Corrections with the residents of Howard County is invaluable. The opportunity to share the challenges we face as well as our response to those challenges is vital. I welcome the feedback and questions this type of forum provides,” said Jack Kavanagh, Director, Howard County Department of Corrections.

“The Office of Human Rights continues to be a resource to the community in combatting discrimination and inequities. I am honored to participate in this Public Safety Town Hall in efforts to disseminate information regarding how and when to file complaints of discrimination, as well as training opportunities,” said Yolanda F. Sonnier, Administrator, Office of Human Rights.  

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