Governor Larry Hogan to Reopen Annapolis State Police Barrack and Add 100 Troopers
According to a news release, his announcement follows the General Assembly’s failure to approve the necessary funding to enhance the capabilities of the Maryland State Police though a second supplemental budget introduced by Governor Hogan on April 2nd.
“We are going to move forward with our plan, despite the Speaker of the House’s refusal to introduce a supplemental budget that would have put more State Troopers on Maryland’s highways and funded the re-opening of the Annapolis barrack,” said Governor Hogan. “Our state troopers were an essential element in the restoration of order in Baltimore last month and their exemplary work in the city is evidence of just how much we need these new positions. It is unconscionable to deprive our state capital of a State Police barrack and the troopers necessary to ensure public safety or respond to an emergency.”
To offset the expenditure associated with the State Police action, Governor Hogan said he will line item veto a single item in the Maryland Consolidated Capital Bond Loan of 2015, also known as the Capital Budget. This veto eliminates $2 million in state funding for renovations to the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, also based in Annapolis. The remainder of the capital budget is unaffected, he said, and will pass into law without the Governor’s signature.
“I am a huge proponent of the arts and the First Lady is a former member of the Anne Arundel County Arts Council. But in the current environment, a State Police Barrack in our state capital and adequate funding for public safety in Annapolis must be the priority,” said Hogan.
Under the administration’s plan the authorized size of the Maryland State Police would grow from 1,556 men and women in uniform to 1,656 – a level not seen for more than a dozen years. The state has also initiated work to reopen the Maryland State Police “Barrack J” in Annapolis that was closed by the previous administration in 2008. The barrack is on track to re-open in the fall of 2015.
The Maryland State Police as a component of public safety and crime control:
• In 2014, Maryland state troopers made more than 19,000 criminal arrests and recovered almost 2,000 illegal guns.
• The Regional Automated Property Information Database coordinated by the Maryland State Police assisted in the arrests of more than 1,700 criminals and the recovery of $6.7 million worth of stolen property in 2014.
• The Maryland State Police Aviation Command completed its transition to the new helicopter fleet ahead of schedule and last year flew 2,200 patients to lifesaving care. It also helped to find 123 lost or missing people in 2014.
• The internationally accredited Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division Crime Laboratory analyzed 21,139 cases last year, 72 percent of which were for local police departments in the state.