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Maryland governor addresses police, visits human trafficking support center

Backing the police and funding a human trafficking center were on Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s agenda in Ocean City this week.

The governor addressed the Maryland Municipal League’s Police Executive Association Training Conference and then took part in a ceremony establishing the first human trafficking center in Dorchester.

“Every single day that I have served as governor, I have been immensely proud of all our law enforcement officers, including all who serve in Maryland’s municipal police agencies,” Hogan said in the release. “Our state and our nation owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all the brave members of the thin blue line who run toward the danger and adversity when others run away.”

Through the past legislative session, Hogan’s Re-Fund The Police initiative saw a $500 million investment come through legislation that will aid in the recruitment and retention of police officers in the state, according to the release.

The initiative calls for more diversity while widening community police efforts, and training officers on better deescalation techniques. Funding will also be used for body cameras and other technology and equipment for state and local departments.

Resources were tucked into the legislation, according to the release, to build new headquarters for police, new firehouses, and improve public safety structures in the state.

Harriet’s House, according to the release, opened its doors in Dorchester on the Eastern Shore. The center will support survivors of human trafficking. A $200,000 line item was in the governor’s latest supplemental budget to help fund the haven, which was inspired by Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.

“The grand opening of Mary’s Sanctuary will offer the safe haven and second chance that the female survivors of human trafficking so desperately need,” Hogan said in the release. “Last month, I officially declared 2022 as the year of Harriet Tubman in the State of Maryland, and I can think of no better way to continue that celebration and continue to honor her memory than the reason that brings us together today.”

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