O'Malley Signs SWAT, Speed Camera Bills
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) this morning is signing more than 260 bills into law, including measures to require additional reporting for police SWAT teams, force more domestic abusers to forfeit their firearms and authorize speed cameras statewide in school zones and work zones.
The bills are being signed at the final in a series of scheduled ceremonies in the wake of the 90-day legislative session that ended last month.
Other bills being signed this morning will place new restrictions on police surveillance activities, tighten penalties on drunk drivers and require pawnbrokers to submit electronic records to help police find stolen merchandise.
In remarks at the outset of the ceremony, O'Malley and legislative leaders focused on the domestic violence bills, which give judges additional tools to prompt accused domestic abusers to surrender their firearms.
"This is probably the single most important step we've taken as a state ... but it's not enough," said Lt Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D), whose cousin, Cathy was a victim of domestic violence last year.
Brown served as the O'Malley administration's point person on the legislation during the session.
Also attending this morning's ceremony is Cheye M. Calvo, the mayor of Berwyn Heights, and his wife. The couple's two black Labradors were killed last year during an errant SWAT team raid of their home by Prince George's police.
"It is meaningful to us that something good has come out of the terrible tragedy of last summer," Calvo said as he waited for O'Malley to sign a bill requiring new reporting requirements for SWAT teams. "Hopefully, it will be a first step in being able to better police our communities."
May 19, 2009; 11:11 AM ET
Categories: John Wagner
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