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5. Public Safety

  • We must broaden our understanding of crime not just in terms of the causes that lead to it, but also the impacts that it creates within a community. From stalling the economic vitality of a neighborhood main street, to creating trauma for children who grow up proximate to violence, crime is both a product of and driver for the social context in which it exists. As Governor, I will approach public safety through a lens that situates it within this broader social context rather than seeking to treat it as a stand alone challenge to be addressed.

  • To reduce crime, we must address the factors that induce crime. Lack of economic opportunity is paramount in this respect, not only for first-time offenders, but also for returning citizens whose struggle to find steady, good-paying employment lends itself to an increased likelihood of recidivism. Franchot has a bold goal of reducing the recidivism rate at least 50% by 2030. He will achieve this by: 

    • Offering returning citizens temporary housing, training, and placement in a competitive industry that pays family supporting wages, as outlined in his 100,000 jobs in 100 weeks pledge.

    • Creating a statewide version of D.C.’s Office of Returning Citizen Affairs, to streamline navigation of essential state services like getting an ID, or finding housing assistance.

  • It is imperative that we improve the relationship between police and community, and I am committed to facilitating this improvement via an expansion in training programs for officers, and a true emphasis on community policing programs. 

  • I am also committed to treating addiction as a public health crisis and will seek to pilot a statewide, pre-arrest diversion program for arrestees who suffer from addiction. 

  • For victims of violent crime, trauma-informed care is essential both for healing and for breaking potential cycles of retaliatory violence. We will seek to address this need by piloting a statewide program that provides trauma-informed care and psychological services to victims of violent injury, especially youth. 

  • For many Marylanders, addressing police misconduct is a defining Civil Rights issue of our time. My administration will address police misconduct by: 

    • Ending all use of no-knock warrants.

    • Study the feasibility of requiring officers who commit acts of aggression against civilians to be required to self-insure in order to reduce the financial burden of misconduct on the state and local government, and spur an end to excessive use of force. 

    • Requiring the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission to decertify any officer who was fired or resigned while under investigation for misconduct or excessive force.

    • Applying normal Maryland Public Information Act standards to all records on police misconduct, use of force, and civilian complaints against police officers.

    • Expanding independent review of civilian deaths involving police to include use-of-force incidents that result in hospitalization of civilians.

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