BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In the last few days, there has been two mass shootings in Baltimore City. The crime and efforts to fight it have been a topic that many politicians are discussing.
Some leaders are questioning if others are doing enough to stop the violence.
Wednesday, Governor Larry Hogan discussed the recent violence in Baltimore, including an instance where police say an assault rifle was used in a shooting where more than 60 rounds were fired in the 700 block of North Rose Street in East Baltimore.
“We gave them I think $40 million, and we’ve addressed everything that they’ve asked us to do,” said Governor Larry Hogan.
The governor, who’s met with the mayor and police commissioner, is now publicly asking the question of if the city’s crime prevention strategy is working.
“I would question whether or not they have to go back and revisit their strategy on fighting the violent crime because it’s obviously not working,” said Governor Hogan.
In response to the governor’s comments, Mayor Brandon Scott said people in Baltimore are constantly adapting and doing the work. The mayor also said the city has not received everything it’s asked for, including allowing Maryland State Police to conduct patrols in Baltimore.
“Folks come in and out of this conversation who aren’t in it every day and they think oh, something bad happened, I gotta say something,” said Mayor Brandon Scott. “You have to realize when the police department is taking more guns off the streets, made more gun arrest in last year, arrested more people in homicides at a higher rate than they have in such a long time, they’re clearly focused. We had a homicide last week that they cleared in the same day.”
The mayor also said it takes time to reduce crime and Dr. Jeffrey Ian Ross, a criminologist at the University of Baltimore agrees.
“When we’re working with communities that have a long term problem with crime, violent crime and homicide and with a police department – which is a large organization that is bureaucratic and typically slow to change, not to mention a criminal justice system that is slow to change, it takes time,” said Dr. Ross.
As of Thursday morning, 120 people have been killed so far this year in Baltimore, 7 more than the same time in 2021.
“Folks and other community-based partners are doing the work to make sure that retaliation is not an option in our communities,” said Shantay Jackson, the director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement.
“It’s about conflict resolution, as the mayor said on the front end, but then consequences on the back end – that when we catch them, we have to make sure that those repeat offenders are not out committing more violent crime,” said Commissioner Michael Harrison.
On the last day of school for Baltimore’s high school seniors, the mayor announced a multi-million dollar investment that will keep kids out of the streets and away from violence.
“When young people have things to do that are organized that are safe, they’re a lot less likely to end up being the victim of a violent crime,” said Mayor Scott.