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New Md. Law Will Change Traffic Ticket Process

New Md. Law Will Change Traffic Ticket Process

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- People who get traffic tickets in Maryland will have three options under a new law taking effect in January.
Now, drivers automatically have trial dates scheduled, but that won't happen under the new law.

They will be able to either pay the fine, ask for a waiver hearing instead of a trial or request a court date for a trial.

Drivers will have to comply within 30 days or risk having their driver's license suspended by the Motor Vehicle Administration.

Payable traffic violations like speeding, failure to obey a traffic signal, or failure to stop for a school bus are affected by the new law. Violations like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or under a suspended license are not.

County Executive Dedicates New 911 Call Center

County Executive Dedicates New 911 Call Center

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson today joined Public Safety Director Vernon Herron and several public safety officials to dedicate the new 911 Call Center in Bowie.

“When I became County Executive eight years ago, I knew that we needed to improve our public safety communications,” Johnson said.  “With the opening of this brand new facility and our new 700 megahertz radio system, we now have the best communications system in the country.”

Construction of the 40,000 square foot, $36 million facility began in March.  Officials expect to have the entire building operational by February 2011. The new facility will increase Fire/EMS and law enforcement dispatchers from 20 to 29 and also includes 32 console positions to process 911 calls. 

Md. Pension Commission To Consider Changes Dec. 13

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- A state commission reviewing how to get a handle on large unfunded liabilities in Maryland's pension and health benefit system for state employees is scheduled to begin voting on recommendations Dec. 13.

Casper Taylor, Maryland's former House speaker who chairs the Public Employees' and Retirees' Benefit Sustainability Commission, said Monday he hopes the commission will be in position to vote on a preliminary report during the week of Christmas to present to Gov. Martin O'Malley and the Legislature, which convenes in January.

One major proposal under consideration includes a five-year freeze on cost-of-living adjustments for retirees. The commission also is aiming to reduce state health care costs by 10 percent.

Prince George's Top Cop Backs Probe Of Nearly 50 Officers

PALMER PARK, Md. (WUSA) -- Prince George's County Police Chief Roberto Hylton calls the fact that at least 46 of his officers are being investigated for a series of charges that range from sexual assault and theft to excessive use of force and drug possession "very disturbing."

However, he defends the investigation as a way to make sure bad cops are rooted out of his department.

"Some of these cases are being handled internally and others are being handled by other departments," stressed Hylton who  added that "the overwhelming majority of his officers are honest hard-working public servants." 

DC Passes Restrictions On Masked Protesters

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wearing a mask while protesting outside a home could now get you arrested in D.C.

The D.C. Council has unanimously passed a bill that requires such protesters to inform police about their demonstrations.
The strongly worded bill is intended to target an animal rights group whose members have been known to wear masks and show up unannounced outside homes.

Residents have been complaining that they felt "terrorized" by the group in question, Defending Animal Rights Today and Tomorrow. But critics of the bill say it's too broad and infringes upon the First Amendment. The American Civil Liberties Union has come out against the measure.

D.C. Councilwoman Mary Cheh, who sponsored the bill, says the group has made people "feel like prisoners in their own homes." DARTT did not respond to requests for comment on the bill.


PG Police Officer Released From Jail

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) -- One of three police officers arrested in ongoing Prince George's County public corruption investigation has been released.

Police Sgt. Richard Delabrer was released Tuesday after pleading not guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by extortion. While 45-year-old Delabrer was released, he will have to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Delabrer, of Laurel, was allegedly paid to use his authority to ensure the transport of untaxed cigarettes and alcohol in Maryland and Virginia. The scheme allegedly began in 2009 and continued into 2010.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Officer's Hearing Postponed; Chief Criticized By Family

GREENBELT, Md. (WUSA) -- An accused officer's brother says Prince George's County Police Chief Roberto Hylton "threw indicted officers under the bus" after a postponed hearing in fed court Thursday.

A detention hearing for Sgt. Richard Delabrer was postponed and the officer remains in custody.

The hearing drew more than a dozen fellow officers in a silent and solemn show of support.

Many observers were not able to attend the hearing because the courtroom was filled to capacity.

None of Delabrer's fellow officers would speak to reporters, but their presence made it clear Delabrer enjoys significant support among fellow officers despite the corruption charges against him.

Written by Scott Broom
9NEWS NOW and wusa9.com