MARYLAND – The U.S. Marshals and their task force partners are conducting a large-scale, community-outreach initiative. ‘Operation Bless Baltimore’ recently passed its mid-point, and the U.S. Marshals report the partnership has already been a tremendous success.
A press release from the U.S. Marshals explains:
“‘Operation Bless Baltimore’ is a 90-day interagency operation established to support the Feds Feed Families (FFF) food drive and local charities via the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).”
U.S. Marshal Johnny L. Hughes stated:
“Matthew 22:39 says, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself.’ One of the greatest blessings in life comes when you take the attention off yourself and help others. When you focus on doing good works for others, your blessing will come back tenfold. We are focusing on meeting the needs of others, so they know how much we care.”
The District of Maryland’s Silver Shield community oriented policing unit formed this partnership between the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, Baltimore City Police Department, University of Maryland – Baltimore Police Department, and Maryland State Police.
Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Mathew Silverman said:
“We are constantly looking for new ways to engage the community and strengthen our relationship with the public. We are always looking to improve the way we do business. We started the Silver Shield initiative to strengthen the culture of policing, so ‘Operation Bless Baltimore’ is just the beginning.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Federal Bureau of Investigations, U.S. Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations have joined the initiative.
Assistance Chief Deputy U.S Marshal Rachel Gibson also said:
“If you look at how many agencies have come together to make this operation happen, you begin to see the potential impact our Silver Shield program can have on the community. We are all proud to be a part of something special. There is nothing more fulfilling than being able to provide assistance and support to those in need.”
Administrative Officer Kenneth Davis stated:
“We have already donated over 1,400 pounds of goods to the Maryland Food Bank. The excitement surrounding this operation – around this the whole program has been incredible. I could not be more proud of our team.”
Al Maresca Jr. serves as the Public Affairs Officer for the District of Maryland. Deputy Maresca also serves as the Silver Shield Coordinator and is responsible for managing all aspects of this interagency operation.
Maresca told me:
“Operation Bless Baltimore’ will also include a clothing collection and toy drive for children from the city’s underserved communities. As a law enforcement partnership, this effort is intended to operationalize join problem-solving initiatives and focus on serving those who need it most.”
“For years, we measured our success with statistics – by how many arrests we made. But in the District of Maryland, we have a vision. We believe Silver Shield will position the U.S. Marshals Service to serve as the national model for interagency-community collaboration.”
Maresca further explained:
“Don’t get me wrong, the U.S. Marshals arrest some of the most violent offenders in the nation. The work we do in the streets is an extremely important aspect of public safety. We just want to take it a step further.”
“We want to partner with the community to improve every aspect of life – we want to become a symbol of justice.”