GAITHERSBURG, Md. — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan met with Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Police Chief Tom Manger to talk about gang prevention, school safety and other issues connected to the governor’s crime package now being considered in the Maryland General Assembly.
Among the issues, they discussed how Montgomery County is dealing with gangs like MS-13.
“It’s kind of (a) unique situation here in Montgomery County — different from Baltimore City or other places we’re dealing with and we just wanted to get their perspective,” Hogan said.
The governor appeared impressed after meeting with the county executive and police chief.
“I think they’re doing an excellent job and we’re just trying to see how we can provide more support and assistance from the state,” Hogan said.
Part of the tour of the Gaithersburg facility where police train included a live-fire demonstration led by Sgt. Brent Kearney who explained to the governor, “We train for this all the time, with the climate that we’re in with active shooters. It’s all about taking the fight to the bad guy: engage, engage, engage.”
Hogan said he’d taken note of the way Montgomery County police and school officials handled the case of a Clarksburg High School student who now faces charges of bringing a gun to school on a number of occasions.
He also noted the role of social media in some of the threats targeting schools, including one that had been reported by Prince George’s County officials Tuesday morning.
“One of the things in our school safety package was to increase the monitoring of social media, which seems to be kind of a precursor to someone doing something,” Hogan said.
Asked about his thoughts on school safety, Hogan repeated his stance that the state would include support for schools that want to have armed school resource officers, but that the state would not impose that as a requirement.
Another bill in the General Assembly would allow concealed carry inside of churches — as long as the church leadership OK’d it.
“I haven’t seen the legislation, but I don’t give it any chance of passing,” Hogan told reporters.
Tuesday afternoon, students in Baltimore marched on city hall to demonstrate for increased gun control, including a bill backed by the governor. The so-called “red flag” legislation would allow judges to temporarily order gun owners to surrender their firearms if they’re deemed a danger to themselves or others.