Glendening suggests state focus attention on violent 'hot spots' Governor's anti-crime plan to cost $10 million

July 31, 1998|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,SUN STAFF

Outlining his plans for a second term in office, Gov. Parris N. Glendening proposed a $10 million package of anti-crime efforts, ranging from additional money to fight violent crime in Maryland's "hot spots" to stiffer mandatory sentences for repeat rapists.

The proposal includes such crime-prevention efforts as additional state money for after-school programs, and an expansion of the state's character education initiative, which strives to help public school teachers instill values in pupils.

Glendening and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the administration's point person on crime issues, touted the state's declining crime rate in announcing the second-term initiatives.

"All across Maryland we are in the process of reclaiming our neighborhoods from crime and fear," Glendening said at a Baptist church on Greenmount Avenue, in a struggling section of East Baltimore. "Today, the children and families of Maryland are safer than at any time this decade."

The governor said he would triple funding for his initiative that concentrates state and local crime-fighting efforts on "hot spots." The state expenditure of $3.5 million would grow to $10.5 million, expanding the program from 36 communities to as many as 100.

The program would help pay for police officers to patrol crime-plagued areas and funnel money into community groups involved in fighting crime. It also would pay for parole and probation officers to concentrate on neighborhoods that have many ex-offenders under state supervision.

"These neighborhoods all across Maryland want and deserve a comprehensive crime control strategy that's tailored to their community," Townsend said.

The plan also calls for:

Almost doubling the state's $2.4 million expenditure on after-school programs.

Expanding drug testing and increasing punishment for juveniles involved in drug-related crime.

Recording DNA information from all violent offenders, not just rapists, to allow for easier identification of suspects in future cases.

Glendening's main Democratic opponent, Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann, has called for tougher punishment of juvenile offenders and expansion of drug treatment programs.

Another Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McGuire, has promised to end parole for violent offenders if he is elected.

On the Republican side, Ellen R. Sauerbrey's running mate, former U.S. Attorney Richard Bennett, criticized Glendening's "hot spot" initiative, saying crime is everywhere and should not be fought by focusing on a few areas.

The other Republican candidate, Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker, has touted after-school programs to keep children out of trouble.

Pub Date: 7/31/98

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