Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh defended her administration’s approach to addressing crime, saying her office has developed a formal violence reduction plan in conjunction with police, the Baltimore Sun reports. The mayor said she has the plan in writing, but did not commit to making it available for public review. One of her top critics, City Councilman Brandon Scott, ended a hearing abruptly after saying the administration did not appear prepared to provide a collaborative crime plan.
The mayor offered no specifics about her plan. Her spokesman said the mayor and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis will decide whether to release it publicly. The Rev. Andrew Foster Connors, co-chairman of the advocacy group Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development, said Pugh should make her crime plan available for the public to review.”This is a crisis,” he said. “Let’s all come together and develop a plan. If she has a crime-reduction plan, the public doesn’t know about it.” The mayor said she is meeting with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan talk about how to address the city’s surging violence. More than 180 people have been killed in Baltimore so far this year, about 30 percent more than at the same point last year. Pugh is seeking state help to address technology shortcomings in the city, such as expanding gunshot detection devices and equipping police cars with computers. She said that two consultants affiliated with the U.S. Department of Justice will be coming to Baltimore in early August after helping police in Los Angeles reduce crime.