State and County Officials Talk Legislative Priorities for Public Safety

Safe Silver Spring, a community civic group, hosted a conversation on Jan. 12 at the Silver Spring Civic Building about legislative priorities to ensure public safety in Montgomery County.

Safe Silver SpringBody cameras on police officers, what happens after police confiscates assets, wiretapping laws, independent prosecutors when there is police involved in a shooting, and sex crime reporting were just some of the topics discussed during the event.

Featured speakers included Montgomery County Councilmembers Marc Elrich and Tom Hucker, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger, Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin, Delegates Kathleen Dumais, Jeff Waldstreicher, and Deena Hausner, managing attorney at the House of Ruth of Maryland.

“There are some issues that we’re going to be dealing with … The first is body cameras for police officers, the second was the issue of having special prosecutors dealing with police shootings … and the third is the issue of assets forfeiture and I [put] them together because I want to talk to the chief [Tom Manger] about these things,” Elrich said.

During the meeting, Chief Manger, who is also the president of the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, said they are working directly with the United States Department of Justice and Attorney General to create “common sense rules and accountability” to the assets forfeiture process.

But when the conversation is about body cameras on police officers, Manger said the devices can be a great tool. Legislators, however, must agree on measures to protect people’s privacy adding that the public must have realistic expectations when it comes to body cameras, and it’s not cheap, he said.

Manger said it could cost up to $4 million dollars to store data over a period of four years.

Hucker added that he’s gathering best practices on body cameras that have been in place around the country.

“The idea is obviously, as the chief said, is to maintain confidence and strong relationship with the community,” Hucker said.

Maryland Senator Jamin Raskin said he is going back to Annapolis on Thursday, Jan. 15. Raskin said he hopes to work on Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform, Rape Survivor Protection Act, and Second Chance Act.

But on the issue of body cameras Raskin said there are complex technical and civil liberty issues that needs to be addressed.

“We gotta strike a balance between the legitimate and compelling law enforcement purposes that we’ve got in these civil liberty interests,” Raskin said.

Safe Silver Spring encourages citizens, community and business leaders, businesses, non-profit organizations, and public officials to take steps to reduce crime and keep neighborhoods safe.

To find more about Safe Silver Spring, click here.



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Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.


One Response to “State and County Officials Talk Legislative Priorities for Public Safety”

  1. Avatar
    On January 13, 2015 at 4:06 pm responded with... #

    Aline, Many thanks for a excellent article. We greatly appreciate your coverage. For those who want to know more about the criminal justice legislation that we discussed last night, please contact me via

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