Mayor Pugh's Violence Reduction Plan
Dear Baltimore City,
My plan to move Baltimore forward was developed through extensive engagement with our Baltimore Police Department (BPD) and community groups. As I am currently in my ninth month of office, I am providing an update on our public safety initiatives with a focus on violence reduction.
A part of reducing violence is improving trust in the police. The death of Freddie Gray escalated the erosion of trust in our BPD and resulted in the Department of Justice (DOJ) issuing a report requiring Baltimore to enter into a consent decree. While the report was received in August 2016, the responsibility for negotiating a consent decree with the DOJ was left to the Pugh Administration. Our team, working sixteen hour days, accomplished in sixty days what took other cities over a year to complete. We deemed it necessary to complete the Consent Decree and get it signed by the court in order to help restore faith and confidence in the Baltimore police. Progress is underway. We have selected our Community Oversight Task Force which will recommend reforms to the Civilian Review Board and the current system of civilian oversight of the Police Department. We are also in the process of selecting the Consent Decree Monitoring Team.
With new initiatives in place to improve staffing and recruitment at the BPD and with our expedited agreement on the Consent Decree, Baltimore City is singularly focused on violence reduction. Teams are in place to drive the reduction of violent crimes (homicides, nonfatal shootings, robberies) and to execute innovative strategies that will allow us to build on our progress. Improving quality of life through economic progress, health and wellness, and youth development reduces violence in communities as evidenced by the success of other cities that have tackled increases in violent crime.
Our strategies to improve Baltimore’s public safety and restore trust focused on transforming policing and increasing opportunities for improved quality of life. This update serves to document violence reduction efforts in progress and to communicate activities that are providing innovative solutions with the right performance metrics in place to sustain success.
Our strategies have four overarching goals:
1. Making Baltimore Safe by strengthening the BPD and increasing community engagement;
2. Keeping Baltimore Healthy by expanding resources and opportunities for people in need;
3. Engaging Baltimore Youth by giving our young people additional paths for achievement with investments in education and community programs and;
4. Moving Baltimore Forward by increasing jobs and providing business opportunities with significant focus on neighborhoods. Violent crime reduction requires a multipronged approach and is not just an issue for the police.
Our strategies engage various city agencies, community groups and external partners to reduce the violence that threatens the growth of Baltimore.
We are confident that with the assistance of the Department of Justice, the increased engagement of the community, and the support of federal, state, public, private and philanthropic partners, the improvements we are making will result in the reduction of violence in our city. Baltimore will move forward with a safe environment where all of us can live, work and play.
Catherine E. Pugh
Mayor, Baltimore City