law enforcement

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - More than $83 million in grants is going to Virginia localities, organizations and state agencies to support programs and services related to the criminal justice system.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden presided yesterday over the honoring of 26 law enforcement personnel with the Anti-Defamation League’s inaugural Beau Biden Shield Award ceremony.

Named after his late son the former vice president said that there was no group of women and men that he admired more.

And, the Wilmington News Journal reports that he joked, “If you find a cop in American that doesn’t support me, let me know.”

There were around 300 in the audience to honor his son who also served as Attorney General of Delaware.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware lawmakers are eyeing legislation requiring people who have been arrested for, but not convicted of, certain crimes to submit to DNA testing.

Under current law, a person convicted of a sexual offense, or an offense relating to children or a person deemed incompetent, must submit to DNA testing. Results are stored in a database used by law enforcement as a crime-solving tool.

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Another night, another shooting in Salisbury.

WBOC reports that police were on the scene last night at around 11 p.m. in the area of the West Road Apartment complex on East Road.

The victim was identified as Troy Smiley and was ultimately taken to Baltimore’s Shock Trauma for life-threatening injuries.

The television station says that Smiley was shot in the face.

There are no suspects in the case.

Units from the Maryland State Police, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office and the Salisbury Fire Department responded to the shooting.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia state employees will be getting raises, some of them quite hefty, under a budget plan headed to Gov. Terry McAuliffe's desk.

The GOP-controlled General Assembly on Saturday passed a state spending plan that includes significant pay increases for state police and other law enforcement officers, as well as a 3 percent across-the-board raises for state employees and the state's share of a 2 percent raises for teachers. The budget does not include tax increases.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia state employees could be getting their biggest overall raise in nine years, but a showdown could be looming between Gov. Terry McAuliffe and some Republicans over teacher pay.

Republican budget leaders in the GOP-controlled General Assembly released their proposed budgets Sunday. Both the House and Senate versions include a 3 percent raise for state workers and an even greater pay increase for law enforcement officers and front-line mental health workers.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A group of Virginia lawmakers says there is bipartisan support for reforming the state's mental health care system and the way inmates receive treatment.

Several lawmakers held a news conference Wednesday to discuss reform measures put forward this session. They were joined by family members of Jamycheal Mitchell, who suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and died in a Portsmouth jail after his arrest for stealing $5 worth of junk food.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says his budget proposal will include a 1.5 percent one-time bonus for state workers next year.

McAuliffe said Tuesday during a regular appearance on WRVA-AM's "Ask the Governor" that the bonus would be paid in December 2017. He says he's setting aside $130.6 million for the pay boost, career development and money to reduce salary compression among law enforcement.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A state committee is considering a variety of funding requests from local law enforcement agencies for equipment and operations.

The State Aid to Local Law Enforcement committee has received more than $166,000 in funding requests to discuss at Tuesday's meeting, including almost $100,000 sought by the New Castle County Police Department.

The county department's requests include almost $35,000 in travel funds for officers, supervisors and managers to attend training events in and out of state.

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State Senator Harris McDowell warns that it might be time to readjust funding services provided for local governments.

The Delaware Democrat is co-chair of the state’s Joint Finance Committee examining the distribution of services.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that he noted the government is running out of tricks to balance its budget and still maintain its low tax status.

Among the key issues are the services that the state has taken on that had been funded by the counties.

H2Oi Facebook page

Ocean City is getting ready for the H2Oi car show this coming weekend.

These are generally heavily modified Volkswagen and Audi vehicles that are water cooled.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that during last year’s event there were 773 service calls.

That was down from over a thousand in 2014.

In addition, there were 34 arrests last year compared to the 2014 figure of 53.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - A panel will be discussing how the popular "Pokemon Go" smartphone game presents challenges for local governments.

It will be a topic of discussion on Friday at the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference in Ocean City.

Participants will be talking about the positive and negative aspects of the game.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration wants to know how the state can strengthen relationships between law enforcement officials and the communities they serve.

The administration is planning to hold four "listening sessions" across the state in August and September to get recommendations on ways to improve police-community relations. They're inviting law enforcement agencies and community partners to attend.

Delaware Crime Stoppers Webpage

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware Crime Stoppers has teamed up with law enforcement departments across the state to try to solve cold cases.

Local news outlets report that the crime-fighting organization launched a feature on its website on Monday that shines a spotlight on unsolved murders. The webpage gives visitors information about cold cases with the hopes of finding those responsible for the crimes. 

Delaware Crime Stoppers began the initiative two months ago when it reached out to various law enforcement departments in order to get information about cold cases.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland Senate panel has added a tax break on retirement income for law enforcement and emergency services personnel to an overall tax-relief plan.

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee made the changes Wednesday, sending it to the full Senate.

The panel essentially added a Senate tax-relief plan and the break on retirement income to a bill that already has passed the House.

The changes need Senate and House approval before the session ends Monday at midnight, to send them to Gov. Larry Hogan.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is reporting that 21 people have died after encounters with police officers in Maryland in 2015.

The briefing paper, released Tuesday by the organization's Maryland office, is an update to data published last year reporting that 109 people died after encounters with law enforcement officers in the state between 2010-2014.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia legislative panel has killed a bill that would have allowed the government to keep the names of police officers secret from the news media and the public.

A House subcommittee voted unanimously to table Republican Sen. John Cosgrove's bill on Thursday, effectively killing the measure for the year.

The bill pit open-records advocates up against law enforcement groups in a fierce debate over government transparency.

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Newark officials are considering shifting its policy on marijuana possession citations from the state courts to the Newark Alderman’s Court.

Since the cases are referred to the state courts the state also keeps the fines.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Newark City Solicitor Bruce Herron said that the Alderman’s Court would allow Newark police from having to show up in state court in contested cases.

He added it is a matter of convenience that would save time and keep the officers from having to go outside the city limits to attend judicial proceedings.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers are considering whether to keep the names of police officers secret from the news media and public.

The bill moving forward in Virginia is drawing sharp criticism from open records advocates who say the names are an important tool in watching whether police departments are hiring problem officers with taxpayer money.

Supporters say handing over the lists of police officers and sheriff's deputies would put them in danger during what they describe as growing contempt toward law enforcement.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Law enforcement officials plan to announce an initiative to deal with the heroin problem in Virginia's Tidewater region.

U.S. Attorney Dana Boente (BEN'-tay) and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring will be joined by other federal, state and local officials at the news conference Tuesday morning at the federal courthouse in Norfolk.

Salisbury Police Department website

Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan told a community meeting last night that the emphasis by law enforcement has shifted over the years from the number of arrests to a focus on community policing.

Delmarva Media Group along with the Salisbury University’s Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement sponsored the meeting.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Salisbury University Police Chief Edwin Lashley said he viewed his agency as a resource beyond making arrests.

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Tonight Wicomico County law enforcement will be attending a forum at Salisbury University on the police community relations.

The meeting at the Guerrieri University Center at 7 p.m. will take up changes in law enforcement over the last thirty years.

It will also allow citizens to ask questions.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that among those in attendance will be Salisbury Police chief Barbara Duncan and Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis.

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With nearly 60% of the prison population in Delaware consisting of African American inmates, while blacks only make up less than a quarter of the population, a group consisting of Complexities of Color Coalition, the Delaware NAACP and the Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware are holding a town hall in Lewes. The meeting will focus on specific policy changes in the criminal justice system ranging from law enforcement and legal penalties to repeal of the death penalty. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Dr.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is issuing statewide guidelines to prevent discriminatory profiling by law enforcement based on race, gender and other characteristics.

Frosh has scheduled a Tuesday news conference about the initiative. He says the guidelines are similar to ones issued in December by the U.S. Justice Department, which called on states to adopt their own. Frosh says Maryland is the first state to issue its own guidance.

He says it goes further than current Maryland law, but departments would have to adopt the policies.

Delaware State Police Badge

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - The Delaware State Police is inviting members of the public to participate in a Citizen's Police Academy.

The State Police says the academy will begin on Oct. 15 and last for six sessions. The sessions will take place Thursday evenings and last from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Most classes will take place at the Delaware State Police 911 center in Georgetown.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House of Representatives is poised to vote on a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The legislation to be voted on Tuesday makes possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a fine of $100, rather than a criminal offense.

Smoking marijuana in an area accessible to the public or in a moving vehicle would be a criminal misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $200 and imprisonment of up to five days.


BALTIMORE (AP) - Some Baltimore police accountability activists say they'll protest former Gov. Martin O'Malley's announcement of a possible presidential bid in the city Saturday morning.

Duane Davis of Baltimore Bloc said Thursday that police brutality flourished under O'Malley's "zero-tolerance" law enforcement policies during his seven years as mayor. Davis traces the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal injury in police custody, to O'Malley's policies.

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Despite a clash with the state legislature and the governor Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher says he intends to file his re-election papers for a second term.   

The Greenwood Republican tangled with state officials by filing a lawsuit over whether a sheriff in Delaware has the power to arrest people.  

After Christopher took office the General Assembly approved a bill that explicitly denied arrest powers to sheriffs in the state.

Instead, they can only perform such duties as serving subpoenas and other papers for the courts.