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The Maryland Division of Parole and Probation: Taking the Lead in Making Communities Safer

July is always the month to honor parole and probation agents nationally. But if you take a close look at what the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation is accomplishing these days, including recent cross-border data sharing and security integration efforts to improve supervision of offenders, you might agree that every day should be Parole and Probation Appreciation Day.

Just days ago, forty-eight new agents, many of them young and new to the world of public safety, graduated from the DPP Training Academy. They were lauded by both DPP Director Pat McGee and DPSCS Deputy Secretary Phil Pie---himself a 30+-year veteran of DPP.

When those men and women left the room, they had a pretty good idea of where they were headed: straight into an agency thatís been aggressively improving information-sharing, violent offender monitoring, and warrant-executing. Itís not our grandfathersí Parole and Probation for sure---although the agents were reminded that good old fashioned listening, compassion, and a desire to truly help the often shaky offender go a long way too.

DPPís Violence Prevention Initiative continues to take violent repeat offenders who have violated their supervision off the streets. The result has been dramatically lower crime figures in some large jurisdictions.

Five hundred of its dedicated agents have been trained to collect DNA samples, eliminating a huge backlog in that area.

Maryland DPP now has cross-border information-sharing with DC, Virginia, and New York, allowing for fast notification when a parolee or probationer from here is arrested there, and vice versa.

DPPís Community Surveillance and Enforcement Program is clearing 90% of its warrants for violators---again, targeting violent offenders--- and has established a DPP Most Wanted Violators website.

The Divisionís work with DPSCS IT and local law enforcement this summer has led to 29 Livescan crossmatch ID machine installations in DPP field offices (and dozens more for law enforcement). This is significant because it makes certain that a person under supervision is known to be so by law enforcement right from the RAP sheet.

And thatís just the beginningÖ

The point is that the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation is really becoming a leader in the never-ending effort to improve public safety for all of us.

As Director Pat McGee tells his folks: ďHonor the badge. Consider yourself special. Your work may be largely unheralded, but is every bit as critical to all Marylanders as that of any other law enforcer in the state. You are truly the first line of defense we citizens have.Ē

Congratulations to all of the Maryland Division of Parole and Probationís 700 agents and supervisors and 1,300 employees for a job well done---not just during American Probation, Parole, and Community Supervision Week, but every day of the year.