Governor Larry Hogan announces Lower Shore Coalition for Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network
BERLIN, Md. – “All of the good associated with the Lower Shore MCIN expansion serves as a win-win for law enforcement and for citizens who live, work, and visit the Delmarva Peninsula,” Maryland State Police Superintendent Jerry Jones said.
New efforts are underway in the state of Maryland to provide more safety. Thursday, Governor Larry Hogan announced an expansion to the state’s criminal Intelligence Network with the addition of the lower shore coalition. “I can assure you that we are going to continue to use every tool at our disposal to make our neighborhoods are safer and we will not stop pursuing these criminal gangs who’ve been terrorizing our communities,” Governor Hogan said.
“When you have a small agency and reduced resources it always helps to be able to count on your brother and sister agencies around you for assistance,” Delmar Police Chief Ivan Barkley said.
The Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network (MCIN) is the state-wide network that uses data sharing to target gang-related crimes. It also targets other crimes including drug, firearm, and human trafficking.
Part of the new expansion includes Worcester and Somerset counties. Governor Hogan also declared an additional $6.5 million in state funding for the MCIN program.
Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser says moves like this prioritize law enforcement needs while enhancing proactive protection. “Based on real time intelligence which in turn leads to the identification and disruption of drug trafficking organizations, gangs, and other violent offenders. Then our team of prosecutors can finish the job in court with strong cases, more convictions, and longer sentences,” Attorney Heiser said.
Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafull tells us more man power could equal less crimes. “In Worcester we have major arteries including RT 50, 113, and 90 that bring in a lot of travelers,” Sheriff Crisafulli said.
“It’s great for our communities to have that for our businesses but we also have to look at the effect the increase in population brings and there is the increased chances for crime.”
As nationwide challenges like defunding police arise, Attorney Heiser says it’s good to see that those on the shore will be getting more support from those on the blue line. “The people in Worcester County have rejected these policies. They want law and order, they want strong and effective community policing,” Attorney Heiser said.
With the additional funding announced Thursday, it brings the state’s total investment in the network to $25 million.
Governor Hogan adds that mid-year reporting for the network is set to outpace every year since it was launched back in 2017, with over 400 criminal organizations being shut down since July.
Earlier this year, MCIN also helped facilitate the largest drug bust on the eastern shore which included the seizure of enough heroin and fentanyl to kill more than 250,000 people.