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Baltimore County News

Baltimore County News

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  1. Baltimore County Launches Interactive Crime Data Dashboard

    County Experienced Reductions in Crime Through First Six Months of 2020

    Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today released a new interactive data dashboard, where residents can view detailed information about crime. The dashboard is the latest tool available to increase government transparency and accountability in Baltimore County.

    “Residents deserve to know exactly what’s happening in their communities, and this dashboard shines a light on crime statistics in Baltimore County,” Olszewski said. “We’re pleased that the dashboard shows that crime is decreasing in Baltimore County, and that Baltimore County remains a safe place to live, work, and raise a family.”

    The data dashboard includes County Part 1 Crime data from 2017 to present. The dashboard will be updated each month.

    “We will continue to work relentlessly on building public trust in the communities that we serve. The creation of this information center increases our transparency for citizens to see and understand what is happening in their communities and within our agency,” said Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt. “We remain committed to promoting equitable policing across Baltimore County and will continue to evolve and enhance our level of service.”

    According to data through the first six months of 2020, Baltimore County reported reductions in homicides and all other major crime categories. From January 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, Baltimore County saw the following major reductions compared to the same period in 2019:

    • Homicides: 15 percent decrease
    • Burglary: 35 percent decrease
    • Robberies: 30 percent decrease
    • Assault: 24 percent decrease
    • Theft: 23 percent decrease
    • Motor Vehicle Theft: 15 percent decrease

    No Part 1 crime categories saw year-over-year increases.

    “Ensuring the safety of our communities is one of our most important responsibilities and I want to applaud Chief Hyatt and the Baltimore County Police Department for their bravery, service, and progress,” Olszewski added. “Early in the new year, I introduced a series of interventions to enhance the safety of our communities, changes which are already showing significant progress. Moving ahead, we will continue to innovate to make sure Baltimore County’s neighborhoods remain safe.”

    The interactive crime data dashboard released today joins Baltimore County’s growing set of resources for residents that provide greater transparency, reflecting Olszewski’s unprecedented commitment to a more transparent and accountable government.

    Earlier this year, Olszewski launched BCSTAT, a data-driven performance management program that aims to improve performance, ensure data quality, enhance transparency and increase accountability across government.

    Baltimore County has also released a number of downloadable raw data-sets related to numerous government functions and services. Open Data also includes access to the “My Neighborhood” interactive mapping application, which allows residents to select, view and print predefined maps and reports about Baltimore County, such as police precincts, enterprise zones or census information.

    In 2019, the Olszewski Administration released the Baltimore County Open Budget platform to empower residents to explore the County’s budget in an online, easily understood format. The platform currently features information on current and prior year’s budgets, including revenue and expenditures for both operating and capital expenses.

    As part of a recent package of reforms to improve transparency and accountability in the Baltimore County Police Department, the Olszewski Administration announced plans to build public dashboards displaying data on the number and disposition of complaints against police officers, instances of uses of force and traffic stop data broken down by race. These dashboards will be released in the coming weeks.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:44:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/baltimore-county-launches-interactive-crime-data-dashboard
  2. Baltimore County Announces Benefits Screening Call Center

    Connect with More Than 20 Programs to Address Critical Needs

    Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced a new initiative to connect low to moderate income County residents with critical federal, state and local benefits. Residents can call 311 to be referred to trained counselors for a comprehensive screening process.

    The CASH Campaign of Maryland, a nonprofit organization that promotes economic advancement, will serve as the County’s lead partner for this initiative.

    “This pandemic provides unfortunate reminders every day that too many of our residents are struggling, particularly those who have lost jobs or income,” Olszewski said. “This new service ensures that our residents have a one-stop-shop to help them determine which benefits might be available to help them weather this crisis.”

    Benefit Programs

    The CASH Campaign of Maryland is now offering its benefits screening and support services to County residents. Callers to 311 can request an appointment to receive a confidential and customized screening for over 20 different benefit programs to help them make ends meet and support their financial future.

    These programs include:

    • Temporary Cash Assistance
    • Temporary Disability Assistance
    • SNAP (formerly food stamps)
    • Medicaid
    • Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)
    • Maryland Utility Assistance
    • NeedyMeds (discount pharmacy program)
    • Discounted Cellular and Landline Programs
    • Maryland Children’s Health Program
    • Child Care Subsidy Program
    • Child Support Payment Incentive
    • Free and Reduced Price School Meals
    • Head Start and Early Head Start
    • Renters and Homeowners Tax Credit
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Earned Income Tax Credit

    Making the Call

    Interested residents should call 311 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to be connected to CASH. A trained case manager will help callers complete an application and navigate the process to receive the help they need. CASH can also help County residents develop a plan to strengthen their economic stability through financial coaching and financial education classes—all offered remotely, by phone and for free. All conversations with the CASH team are confidential.

    “CASH is excited to work with Baltimore County more closely to ensure that residents are getting connected to the resources and help they need. Many families are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19 and getting the help they need can be really overwhelming,” said Sara Johnson, Co-Founder and COO of the CASH Campaign. “CASH is here to be a guide. Our benefits access program is free and confidential, so we encourage people to take advantage of this service. It's really encouraging to see County leadership and their teams working to streamline access to programs like ours.”

    The Benefits Screening Call Center is the latest effort by Baltimore County to strengthen the safety net for families suffering economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Baltimore County and Baltimore County Public Schools have distributed more than four million meals to residents facing food insecurity since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, Olszewski has committed millions for the County’s efforts to help residents avoid eviction.

    Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:56:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/baltimore-county-announces-benefits-screening-call-center
  3. Olszewski Announces Baltimore County Secures New Market Agreement to Recycle Glass

    Through 10-year Agreement, County will Provide Glass to be Recycled as New Glass Containers

    Baltimore County today that announced the Department of Public Works, Bureau of Solid Waste Management has started a new glass recycling program in partnership with Cap Glass, Inc. of Connellsville, Pennsylvania. 

    Under the new 10-year agreement, the County will deliver glass from the Cockeysville Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to the Cap Glass facility in Baltimore City. Cap Glass will process the glass to remove contaminants (such as paper and other items) and recover marketable glass. The marketable glass will be sent to OI Glass, Inc. to make new glass containers. 

    “A better Baltimore County is one where sustainability and the future of our planet is a top priority, and this new agreement puts that commitment into action as we make our County’s recycling even more efficient,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “I’m proud that our team was able to find an innovative solution to resume glass recycling in Baltimore County, reducing waste output in the process.” 

    The glass recycling program will expand both the number of products and the volume of material that the County will be able to market. The County started delivering glass loads on July 20, 2020.  

    “This is an important initiative to expand the County’s current recycling efforts,” said Michael R. Beichler, C.P.E Chief of the Baltimore County Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Solid Waste Management. “We’re thankful to engage in this productive partnership with Cap Glass and are looking forward to working together for years to come.” 

    Until 2013, Baltimore County directly processed glass recycling. Like most jurisdictions across the country, Baltimore County experienced both technical and financial limitations that prevented efficient glass recycling at municipal facilities. 

    This new agreement is the result of Baltimore County’s multi-year search for a sustainable glass market. Olszewski, who took office in December 2018, provided new funding in the County’s FY21 budget to help support County efforts to pursue a cost-efficient glass recycling initiative. 

    This is the latest effort from the Olszewski Administration to promote environmental sustainability. 

    Shortly after taking office, Olszewski created the County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer who is leading the development of county-wide Climate Action Plan, covering topics such as reduced energy consumption, promotion of green infrastructure, and sustainable growth policy. Earlier this year, Olszewski convened a Youth Climate Working Group to ensure youth voices and recommendations are included in the County’s Climate Action Plan and other sustainability efforts. The Youth Climate Working Group presented their recommendations to the administration in April 2020.

    Thu, 30 Jul 2020 15:00:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/olszewski-announces-baltimore-county-secures-new-market-agreement-to-recycle-glass
  4. Baltimore County to Support Local Businesses with Grants to Chambers of Commerce

    $20,000 Grants will Fund COVID-Related Programming and Marketing Efforts

    Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced a $600,000 grant program designed to assist chambers of commerce and business associations in their missions to support businesses in their communities.

    The grant program will fund initiatives that support local businesses by providing educational programming and marketing efforts to help sustain the viability of this important economic sector that has been hit especially hard by the pandemic.

    “Our independent small businesses and our neighborhood business corridors are an important element of our local economy and they add to our overall sense of community,” said County Executive Olszewski. “These grant funds will quickly go where they are needed to provide critically-needed support to help our small businesses districts.”

    The COVID-19 Business Corridor Sustainability Grant Program is narrowly focused on providing financial support to Baltimore County’s small business associations and chambers of commerce so that they can provide professional-level services to support member and nonmember businesses in their communities.

    A total of $600,000 will be awarded to eligible applicants, capped at $20,000 per organization. Applicants will be required to submit a proposal that demonstrates how the organization plans to utilize these funds to support small businesses in Baltimore County by providing COVID-19 related services.

    These grant funds will enable the County’s chambers and small business associations to pay staff or outside experts to conduct virtual educational programming on COVID-19 related recovery efforts such as accounting requirements for government assistance programs or negotiating forbearance agreements with landlords and financial institutions. Funds could also be used for marketing campaigns to help promote community patronage and support for local “Main Street” businesses.

    Apply Now

    Applications are open now and available.

    Applicants must be a not-for-profit business association or chamber of commerce that:

    • Serves businesses located in Baltimore County
    • Has been in operation as of January 1, 2020
    • Has at least one paid staff member, and provides an employee roster listing all employees as of January 31, 2020
    • Is registered and in good standing with the State of Maryland, if required to do so by law
    • Is not currently in default on any loans, or out of compliance with any grants from Baltimore County, or delinquent on any taxes owed to Baltimore County
    • Submits a complete and acceptable application and proposal by 5 p.m. on Monday, August 31

    Baltimore County staff will review the application to ensure proper completion, and an inter-agency committee will be responsible for reviewing each application submitted to determine eligibility.

    Wed, 22 Jul 2020 14:25:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/baltimore-county-to-support-local-businesses-with-grants-to-chambers-of-commerce
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