Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, law enforcement officials and prosecutors have created an around-the-clock “war room” to address the spike in violent crime that has racked Baltimore since the death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore Sun reports. Officials have identified several criminal groups as top targets of the effort. “We are pushing for an all-hands-on-deck approach to this current surge in violence,” Rawlings-Blake said yesterday. “We know that crime is not static. Neither can we be. It is important for us to work together and recommit ourselves to that collaboration every single day in order for us to get on top of this crime spike.” Violence has spiked since Gray, 25, died in police custody in April, and has showed no sign of abating. May saw 42 homicides, the deadliest month in Baltimore in 25 years. From Friday through Sunday, at least 16 people were shot. Six died, and others were in critical condition.
Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, appointed by Rawlings-Blake after she dismissed Anthony Batts, said the war room will “ensure there are no gaps in our intelligence sharing, no gaps in our operational capacities, and no gaps in our overall commitment to identify the small number of folks who are harming our communities.” The announcement of the command center came less than a week after police said they would begin manning front desks at police stations 24 hours a day. That move came after a man said he was robbed of his bicycle last month but found a nearby station closed when he went to report the crime.