BALTIMORE (WJZ)– After several high-profile racial cases in recent years, Anne Arundel County leaders are moving forward on a new initiative that focuses on united citizens and cities.

Plagued by a series of racially motivated incidents, including two men charged with hate crimes for hanging a noose at Crofton Middle School, county leaders took a huge step Tuesday to find a solution to race relations in the County.

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County leaders say ideas behind the program have been in the works for years, but after recent events across the country and in the County, the idea became a reality.

“The steps that we announced today have been germinating for a couple of years,” said Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh.

The program is intended to improve relations through a number of initiatives that include social media, education and the use of ambassadors. It also calls for diversity training for county workers and expanding minority recruitment.

“We are determined that every department of county government looks like the community it serves,” Schuh said.

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Civil rights activist Carl Snowden says the program is a great start, but questions how useful it will be in the long term and how the program can prevent racial incidents from actually happening.

“It’s great to have a great pronouncement, it’s great to announce what the goals are but we want to measure the record versus the rhetoric,” Snowden said. “When we have a racial incident how will the community ambassadors impact on that particular process.”

The trial for the two men in the Crofton noose case is set to get underway in October.  County Exec Schuh says he plans to issue a proclamation to call for an end to racism in the County soon.

Training for the County’s 6,000 workers is expected to take two years.

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