City Leaders Bring Crime-Fighting Wish List to State Lawmakers
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By David Collins, WBALTV, 9/12/17
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The most powerful people in Annapolis at the helm of fighting crime in Baltimore City led a marathon discussion Tuesday of remedies.
Baltimore City is on pace to break another grim record on the number of homicides. It comes against the backdrop of crime and despair that state lawmakers held a public hearing looking for solutions.
“In my opinion, this takes a holistic approach. It’s going to require solutions that span criminal justice, juvenile justice, education, mental health, drug treatment,” Senate Judicial Proceedings Chairman Bobby Zirkin said.
City officials led the discussion with requests for more money and to pass legislation that failed in previous years.
The mayor, the state’s attorney, the police commissioner have similar legislative wish lists, and topping the list is funding to, for example, implement mandates of the U.S. Department of Justice consent decree.
“We will focus on smart policing, improving training, modernization,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said.
In addition, the mayor is seeking startup costs for the city’s 24/7 urgent care stabilization center, more funding for Project CORE to tear down entire city blocks of vacant houses, legislation allowing civilians to be on police trial boards and funding for Shake and Bake and recreation centers.
Police Commissioner Kevin Davis brought a list as well.
“The Police Department needs immediate resources to relocate witnesses,” Davis said.
Davis also wants funding for license plate readers, to expand the gunshot detection initiative, for a mobile crime lab and to strengthen gun laws.
State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby made a plea to pass legislation to go after repeat sexual predators, to give her office the authority to appeal gun cases and to add two federal prosecutors to go after gun cases.
The mayor hinted that the Hogan administration would be providing more money to help young people in Baltimore, but she did not elaborate and the governor’s office did not respond to the 11 News I-Team’s inquiry.
The chairman of the committee pledged to hold more hearings.