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Baltimore County Won’t Seek Reimbursement For Help In City Unrest

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Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has told Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake the county won’t seek reimbursement for police and fire assistance during the city’s spring unrest.

The county is one of several jurisdictions that sent aid while Baltimore was in a state of emergency. Baltimore County claims $257,000 in expenses. Last week, the city reimbursed Carroll County for $41,000 in assistance, while Frederick and Anne Arundel counties are still awaiting reimbursement. The city planned to use federal funds to defray the costs for such assistance, but the city’s request was denied, and the money is instead coming from the city’s Rainy Day fund.

“Baltimore County is a partner with Baltimore City in every way,” Kamenetz said. “This past spring, I directed Police Chief Jim Johnson and Fire Chief John Hohman to provide whatever assistance was necessary to help the city deal with a very difficult situation. The residents of Baltimore County recognize that a strong Baltimore City is key to regional strength and stability, and for that reason, the County will not seek reimbursement.”

The several days of civil unrest followed the death of Freddie Gray. Gray suffered fatal injuries while in Baltimore police custody, and six Baltimore officers stand accused in his death.

“From the time of the unrest, County Executive Kamenetz has demonstrated his commitment to our regional partnership, from encouraging county residents to spend their Mother’s Day at city restaurants to this fall’s promotion of the value of city arts experiences to the region,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said in the county release. “All of us in Baltimore City are appreciative of the support we received from Baltimore County police officers and firefighters during last spring’s unrest, and the support we continued to receive during this fall’s trial. The County Executive’s decision not to seek reimbursement for last spring’s costs is just another example of his commitment to a regional partnership and vision.”

However, Kamenetz said that if the county’s help is needed again for future crises, this move doesn’t set a precedent for whether or not the county will seek reimbursement.

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