Crime-Fighting Crosses State Borders
Maryland and New York Governors Announce Daily Information Sharing on Parolee and Probationer Arrests

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TOWSON, MD (July 20, 2010)---Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and New York Governor David A. Paterson today announced a joint crime-fighting initiative in which the states will share daily arrest information enabling each state to keep tabs on new arrests of its parolees and probationers.

The agreement closes a gap in the sharing of criminal justice information. Previously, a parole and probation agent in either state would not necessarily know that an individual under his or her supervision had been arrested in the other state without a time-consuming search of criminal record databases. Under this new partnership, initiated by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) through its Division of Parole and Probation (DPP) and Internet Technology and Communications Division (ITCD), this arrest information will be relayed automatically on a daily basis.

Under this joint initiative, Maryland officials have the ability to promptly determine if an individual under its supervision is arrested in New York, and New York officials will be able to promptly determine if an individual on parole or probation in that state is arrested here in Maryland.

“Breaking down the barriers of information sharing has been critical to our efforts in reducing violent crime throughout Maryland over the last three years,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “Our top priority is public safety. Whether it is with local law enforcement, or states sharing our border, sharing arrest data on our worst offenders makes our state safer. And today, we are extending that effort to New York.”

“Through this initiative, our parole and probation officers, as well as those in Maryland, will know almost immediately when an individual under their supervision has been arrested,” Governor Paterson said. “I am very grateful to Governor O’Malley for partnering with New York on this initiative, which will enhance public safety in both states.”

During the O’Malley-Brown administration, Maryland’s cross-border partnerships and programs aimed at repeat violent offenders (such as those under supervision) continue to expand, and are contributing to significant reductions in violent crime.

According to 2009 year-end crime data compiled by the Maryland State Police and submitted to the FBI for use in the national crime statistics report, Maryland’s violent crime rate is at its lowest level in Maryland since modern crime-tracking began in 1975.

Similarly, total crime declined to its lowest level since 1975, as have homicides, dropping 12 percent since 2008 with 57 fewer people murdered last year in Maryland than the year before.

DPSCS now has similar agreements with DC and Virginia, and the Department regularly shares information on gangs and other critical public safety issues with more than 100 local and regional law enforcement agencies.

Maryland Division of Parole and Probation Director Patrick McGee called the New York partnership “the latest in a long list of things we’ve tried to do to close information gaps, make word of an offender’s arrest or placement under supervision travel faster, and generally expand the scope of regional and national criminal justice information sharing.”

New York probation and parole officials similarly praised the initiative. “This important agreement between New York and Maryland will enhance public safety and ensure the prompt return of absconders to their home states where they will face immediate prosecution,” said Andrea W. Evans, chairwoman of the New York State Board of Parole and Chief Executive Officer of the Division of Parole. “We look forward to working with our counterparts in Maryland on this initiative to expeditiously detect, apprehend and return offenders from both states.”

Under the Governor’s leadership, DPP continues its aggressive effort to be a leader in Maryland public safety. Technologically, the Division has added Livescan digital photo and print technology that makes being placed under DPP supervision a “reportable event” viewable by law enforcement on an offender’s “RAP” sheet. DPP’s Violence Prevention Initiative has been hailed for taking more repeat violent offenders off the streets through warrant requests and revocations of a violator’s supervision. And the Division has increased training, including specific domestic violence awareness education, for its roughly 700 agents and their immediate supervisors.

All of these efforts would not have been possible without security integration---making technology close gaps, respond faster, and bring divergent systems together. The DPSCS Internet Technology and Communications Division has done tremendous work on everything from state-of-the-art digital fingerprint technology to a system called the Law Enforcement Dashboard, which allows police officers to view critical offender information within minutes on a single screen, from what was before only retrievable from multiple database sources, and after an extensive period of time.

MEDIA CONTACT FOR NEW YORK: John Caher, Division of Criminal Justice Services
(518) 457-8415 or (518) 225 5240