BERLIN — Somerset County is one of three jurisdictions joining the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network, as announced by Gov. Larry Hogan during a recent stop here at the Maryland State Police barrack.
MCIN coalitions are currently active in 16 counties including Wicomico in addition to Baltimore City. For fiscal year 2023, the Maryland State Police added Somerset and Worcester to Dorchester’s existing MCIN operation, creating a new Lower Shore MCIN coalition.
Howard County has instituted a new MCIN program as well, led by the Howard County Police Department. An additional $6.5 million in funding will support the program expansion, bringing total statewide MCIN funding to $25 million.
MCIN provides a coordinated criminal justice network to target higher instances of gang-related crime, in addition to drug, firearm, and human trafficking. Earlier this year, MCIN facilitated the largest drug bust ever on the Eastern Shore, including the seizure of enough heroin and fentanyl to kill more than 250,000 people.
Gov. Hogan said during his Aug. 18 announcement that adding Somerset and Worcester along with Dorchester’s existing operation, will “strengthen allied law enforcement capacity on the Lower Shore.”
“I can assure you that we are going to continue to use every tool at our disposal to make our neighborhoods safer, and we will not stop pursuing these criminal gangs who have been terrorizing our communities.”
According to data for the first six months of 2022, MCIN coalitions disrupted or dismantled more than 400 criminal organizations involved in gang activity, drug and/or firearms trafficking including multi-state and international operations. The mid-year report shows more than $8.2 million in cash and asset were seized along with 860 pounds of illegal drugs and 300 firearms.
“Over time, we developed MCIN from an offender-based, eight jurisdiction program into a robust information-sharing, data-driven network,” said Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services Kunle Adeyemo.
“These partnerships are invaluable and we thank our allied law enforcement for their steadfast commitment to public safety.”
“I am confident that the expansion of MCIN to the Lower Eastern Shore will improve our ability to keep our communities safe,” said Worcester County State’s Attorney Kristin Heiser. “We will be better prepared to rise to whatever challenges we face moving forward together.”
MCIN funding is prioritized to help install program coordinators, data analysts, and MCIN prosecutors within each coalition, in addition to supporting ongoing program enhancements, including those through the Maryland Crime Research and Innovation Center and data sharing enhancements.