Baltimore Mayor Seeks Help; Anticrime Strategy ‘Not Working’

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With Baltimore recording more than a homicide a day to start 2017, Mayor Catherine Pugh says the city’s crime-fighting strategy has not been enough to stem the killings, and her administration is searching for solutions, the Baltimore Sun reports. Forty-two people were killed in the first 39 days of the year — more than twice as many as in the same period in 2016. More than 112 people have been shot. The carnage has exceeded the pace set in 2015, the deadliest year per capita in city history, with 344 killings. “This strategy that we have in place is not working to the extent we need it to,” Pugh said.

She noted that police shot and killed an 18-year-old man Tuesday, one day after he was released from jail. The unidentified teen was out on bail after being charged with gun and drug felonies. Police said the teen had a gun when an officer shot him.  “It shows dysfunction, I believe, in our criminal justice system,” Pugh said of the case. “People who have those many gun charges probably should not be on our streets. We’ve got a crime problem in our city. We’ve got a lot of work to do.” Pugh said she’s meeting with experts from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and New York-based Bloomberg Philanthropies to seek solutions. She called a meeting of nearly 100 community members last week to discuss a different direction for the city. The mayor has authorized police to hire 100 additional officers to patrol the streets. That move came after Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said he would reassign 100 of the department’s officers to patrol duty.

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