2016 End of Session Letter
Dear Friend and Constituent,
The Maryland General Assembly 2016 Legislative Session has concluded and I wanted to take the opportunity to share what has transpired since our last session. I want to thank each of you for your phone calls, emails and personal visits to share with me what's important to you. It is through our communications that I know what is important to you. I truly appreciate the trust you have placed in me to represent you in Annapolis.
Since last session, I was appointed to the Commission Regarding the Implementation and Use of Body Cameras by Law Enforcement Officers and to the National Conference of State Legislatures' Law, Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. Additionally, I traveled to San Francisco during the fall of 2015, as a member of the Maryland Delegation for the National Conference of State Legislatures/ National Center State Courts' "Juvenile Justice Reform State Teams' Meeting" with Senator Delores G. Kelley, Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, Court Administrator Pamela Harris, and Department of Juvenile Services Secretary Sam Abid. Each of these experiences informed some of the legislation that I sponsored or cross-filed. Finally, at the end of this session, I was also appointed Parliamentarian of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland.
This session, the House Judiciary held hearings for 348 bills, many of which were very intense. As a member of its Committee's Criminal Justice Subcommittee, I had a role in formulating two major pieces of legislation, the Public Safety and Policing Workgroup - Recommendations and the "Justice Reinvestment Act". While I will discuss them both more in depth below, I am confident that our work will produce outcomes that greatly improve our criminal justice system.
Privacy advocates from the ACLU and other organizations have raised concerns about the Baltimore Police Department’s use of the stingray device and the secrecy that surrounds it. So in a rare turn of events last week, an Annapolis hearing room became a venue for law enforcement to publicly speak about the illicit gathering of cellphone data.
By Michael Dresser, Baltimore Sun
Law enforcement officials and civil libertarians debated a bill Thursday that would limit how police use a tracking device that can locate a cellphone — and its user — to within six feet.
Major changes to legislation regarding the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights are now on the table.
It's not freshman year anymore for Catonsville residents Charles Sydnor III and Pat Young.
Heading into their second year representing District 44B in the Maryland House of Delegates, the two Democrats have a lot on their minds, mostly focused on their specialties — for Sydnor the Judiciary Committee and for Young the House Appropriations Committee.
In his seven years in office, President Barack Obama had not visited a mosque in the U.S. When he made the decision to do so, the mosque he selected, from the more than 2,100 across the country, was one just outside of Windsor Mill.
Yolanda Vazquez is on location in Annapolis, Maryland with Maryland House Delegate from District 44B, Charles Sydnor III. They discuss the 2016 Legislative Session.
By John Rydell
Baltimore County Police are exploring whether its patrol officers should be equipped with body cameras.
In the wake of a series of highly publicized police involved shootings around the country, Baltimore County is one of many local jurisdictions studying the feasibility of utilizing the tiny cameras.
By: Linda Dorsey-Walker Special to the AFRO
This year freshman Del. Charles Sydnor III (Baltimore County – 44B), sponsored HB 533, the Public Safety – Law Enforcement Officers – Body–Worn Digital Recording Device and Electronic Control Device bill, which revised the existing wiretapping law, which had stood in the way of implementing body cameras by Maryland law enforcement officers.
By: Baltimore County Now, News You Can Use
Police Training Commission to Develop Policy and Procedures
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz expressed his appreciation to Governor Larry Hogan for signing SB 482/HB 533, which was sponsored on behalf of the Kamenetz Administration to clarify issues relating to the County’s proposed use of cameras on police officers and Taser weapons.
“Under Maryland’s existing wiretap law,” said Kamenetz, “there was some concern whether our cameras could record audio without being in conflict of the state’s two-party consent rule. With this Bill, it clarifies that a police officer may utilize both video and audio in the course of official police duties. While there are still some details to be resolved as a result of late amendments to the Bill, we appreciate that the Governor signed this important measure into law. We are grateful as well to our County delegation members, and particularly Delegate Charles Sydnor and Senator Kathy Klausmeier for sponsoring this bill on our behalf.”