Feds, State, and Baltimore City Join Hands to Reduce Violent Crime

On Wednesday, August 24th, U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron, Governor Larry Hogan, Baltimore City Mayor Brandon M. Scott, and several agency officials joined together to unveil an initiative targeting violent crime in Baltimore City and throughout the rest of Maryland.

U.S. Attorney Barron highlighted his agency’s newly established Violent and Organized Crime Section, which is being expanded by over 30 new state-funded positions. In his most recent budget, Governor Hogan had allocated $3.5 million to support 14 additional Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys, 10 additional investigators, five data analysts, and four legal support personnel, with the support of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.

WYPR reports the newly established section will adopt an “Al Capone method of prosecution,” meaning it will focus on violent crime and other concurrent wrongdoing such as fraud. In a quote published by WYPR, U.S. Attorney Barron said, “You might not believe it, but what we have found is that more than half of our targets are involved in such fraud.”

Barron noted a recent incident calling attention to the need for additional resources to combat violent crime in a press release:

‘The appalling multi-victim shooting at Park Heights Avenue today underscores the need for the steps announced and the renewed commitment from our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to reduce violent crime,’ said U.S. Attorney Erek Barron.  ‘I have instructed my staff to provide whatever assistance we can to ensure that the shooters from the incident today are quickly arrested, taken off the street, and brought to justice.  We will continue to use every legal means necessary to fight violent crime in Baltimore and throughout Maryland.’

Mayor Scott expressed gratitude for the initiative’s collaborative approach toward addressing violence:

‘I am pleased to join local, state, and federal leaders to share this announcement and show that, together, we are dedicated to making the streets of Baltimore the safe spaces that we know they can be,’ said Mayor Brandon Scott.  ‘I look forward to working with each and every agency that shares our commitment to reducing violence.’

Governor Hogan offered thanks to U.S. Attorney Barron and re-affirmed his administration’s commitment to fighting violent crime:

‘For eight years our administration has been fighting to give law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges the tools they need to fight violent crime and to hold violent criminals accountable,’ said Governor Hogan.  ‘A critical piece of that has been active collaboration and coordination between all levels of government.  I want to thank U.S. Attorney Barron for continuing the long-standing partnership we have had with the federal prosecutor’s office, and I want to commend him for building on our crime-fighting efforts with these new initiatives.’

At a separate event in Baltimore City’s Little Italy neighborhood, Governor Hogan, joined by Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson, discussed a $500,000 investment into the neighborhood’s public safety infrastructure. The funding will include:

  • $130,000 for Vehicle Tag Readers
  • $83,000 for Police-Accessible Cameras
  • $40,000 for Street Intersection Reflective Paint
  • A future commitment of $250,000 for Creating a Business Improvement District and Extending the Waterfront Partnership to Little Italy

Governor Hogan addressed the need for the additional public safety investment in a press release:

‘Little Italy is a proud community with a storied history, but violent crime threatens to make it less safe and welcoming. We can’t let that happen,’ said Governor Hogan. ‘All of these security upgrades will help bolster law enforcement’s ability to make the neighborhood safer, and give more peace of mind to the people who live, visit, and work here. I want to thank the leaders of the Little Italy Neighborhood Association for their tireless efforts and President Ferguson for his partnership, and I encourage everyone to come visit Little Italy.’

President Ferguson added:

‘Little Italy is a cornerstone of Baltimore City, and I’m pleased to see this significant investment in the safety and security in one of our historic neighborhoods,’ said President Ferguson. ‘I want to thank the governor for his leadership and welcome all Marylanders to come and enjoy the important cultural gem that is Baltimore’s Little Italy.’

Read the full U.S. Attorney press release.

Read the full WYPR article.

Read the full Governor Hogan press release.