We greatly appreciate Baltimore County States Attorney Scott Shellenberger and Sheriff Gahler taking their time to address our concerns about crime in Baltimore County. Each speaker provided a different perspective on the source of Baltimore County’s crime issues. Mr. Shellenberger focused on the process with which crime is prosecuted in Baltimore County, while Sheriff Gahler focused on having the funding and support from local elected officials. Both speakers fully agreed that the progressive wing of the Democratic party are passing new legislation without understanding the full consequences of their new laws. The 2021 Police Reform bill that passed last year has completely destroyed not only the morale of the police force, but many have left their profession. Restated, we have a shortage of police officers due to the consequences of the “Police Reform” bill.
What can we do to restore a safe environment within our community? The number one item is to reach out to our legislators and either support or oppose legislation in Annapolis. The legislative season will be completed by mid-April. Now is the time to let your representative know your position on crime bills currently in the legislation. They work for us. We do not work for them.
Attached to this email are the ACTION ITEMS we asked each attendee to sign and send to our elected representatives. In addition, we received information from Kathy Szeliga shortly before our meeting of additional action items. Below is her letter.
From Delegate Kathy Szeliga - Crime
Common sense is often as good as polling. And yes, it is.
The recent Goucher Poll found that a quarter of those polled in Maryland wants the state to prioritize crime and public safety. These views are reflected nationwide, (almost 8 in 10 registered voters) as well. Crime rates are continuing to soar across the country, especially in Baltimore City.
Baltimore City is setting records for violent crime. Murders and non-fatal shootings are at historic highs. The leadership in the City is abysmal and tone deaf. In my opinion, State Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s policies to ignore low-level crimes is creating more criminals.
Baltimore County has seen an increase in homicides. The County Executive and Police Chief continue to say that crime overall is down. I believe they are not counting crime the same way. The law enforcement officers I know have witnessed an increase in crime and they question this narrative too.
In the earlier part of the legislative session, the Brawl at the Towson Mall occurred. The following week, the House of Delegates passed HB 459, Juvenile Justice Reform. This is a “catch and release” bill for juvenile criminals. One of the juveniles involved in the brawl in Towson was 12-years old and was charged with assaulting a police officer. After this bill takes effect, 12-year olds will not be charged with a crime. They will simply be released to a parent or guardian.
Juveniles involved in a low-level crime need to feel the consequences so they do not go on to commit more crime. They need a program of treatment, training and rehabilitation to learn to stop acting antisocially. The Senate is passing SB 691, a similar measure. Senator Mike Hough did a great job of neutering that bill, and hopefully the amended bill will be a minor distraction.
The liberals in Annapolis are more focused on criminals’ rights and not charging criminals with crimes than protecting innocent bystanders and victims of crime.
The Baltimore City crime is impacting Baltimore County. Security was increased at Towson Town Center following the brawl last month that injured two police officers and a security guard. Six juveniles were arrested on charges ranging from assault to disorderly conduct. Those involved were between the ages of 12 and 17 and all were residents of Baltimore City.
“There is nothing more important than addressing the violent crime crisis in our state and our effort to re-fund the police and to give them the support and the resources they need to do their jobs more effectively.”
Governor Larry Hogan
ACTION ITEM – CONTACT SENATE JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS CHAIR AND MEMBERS OPPOSING HB 459, Juvenile Justice Reform.
Copy and paste the email addresses below.
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I oppose HB459 Juvenile Justice Reform Bill. Juvenile violent crime is increasing and failure to provide consequences for illegal behavior will only encourage more illegal behavior.
Action Item Oppose HB 559 - Probation Before Judgment – Probation Agreements – Probation Not Deportation
Copy & Paste email addresses:
Dear Delegate Cardin and Delegate Feldmark:
I am writing today to strongly oppose HB 559 because this bill protects illegal immigrants who are charged with a crime from deportation. The crime rate in Maryland has risen to unprecedent levels. As a Marylander, I feel unsafe knowing that delegates like yourselves are soft on crime and advocate for these types bills which may cause crime to rise.
I urge you to withdrawal this bill from consideration.
ABORTION BILLS BELOW:
Action Item: Opposition HB0050, HB0142, HB0937/SB0890, & HB0952;
Support for HB0583, HB1139, HB1161, HB1167, HB1230, HB1317, HB1360, HB1364, & HB1369
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Delegate Shane E. Pendergrass, Chair of the House Health & Government Operation Committee
Delegate Joseline A. Pena-Melnyk, Vice-Chair of the House Health & Government Operation Committee
Dear Delegate Pendergrass and Delegate Pena-Melnyk:
Please be advised that I strongly oppose HB0050, & HB0142 because these bills will force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions and/or refer patients for these services against their religious beliefs.
I, also, oppose HB0937/SB0890, & HB0952 because these bills will commit additional public funding for abortion and divert public funds from lifesaving alternatives to abortion including access to quality reproductive health care that includes the supervision of a licensed medical physician.
I strongly urge you to support and allow public debate on the following house bills in support of women and their unborn children:
HB0583 Down Syndrome Dignity Act
HB1139 Abortion Subsidy Prohibition Act
HB1161 Ultrasound & Waiting Period
HB1167 Coercive Abuse Against Mothers Prevention Act
HB1230 Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act
HB1317 Informed Consent (A Woman’s Right to Know)
HB1360 Abortion Inducing Drugs
HB1364 Health Care Freedom of Conscience Act
HB1369 Abortions - Standards & Reporting
I urge all committee members and state delegates to advocate for the life of an unborn child. If we do not speak up for the life of an unborn child, then who will?
Action Item Strongly Oppose HB 1171- State Constitution Amendment- Eliminates any right of a pre-born baby to life from conception through birth
Maryland State Senator, Delores G. Kelley, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee
Dear State Senator Kelley,
I am writing today to strongly oppose HB 1171 because this bill will create an amendment to the State of Maryland’s Constitutional that will eliminate any right of a pre-born baby to life from conception through birth and create the unnecessary right for a woman to have a fully funded abortion- on-demand (for any reason) up until birth! It also compels physicians, hospitals & other healthcare providers to participate in abortion, in violation of their rights of conscience & free exercise of religion. There would be no way to regulate abortion or attempts to pass lifesaving legislation such as partial birth abortion or dismemberment bans. It would continue to force taxpayer funding of abortion & continue to shield abortionists from liability by refusing to report abortion data to the CDC.
I must oppose HB 1171 and ask that HB 1171 being withdrawn from consideration by the Maryland Senate.