A Safer City


Originally posted in The Rawlings-Blake Review, Issue #170

I have to share with you how angry I am about what has occurred in Baltimore over the past week. We have seen a terrible display of ugly, senseless violence. The cowards that have perpetrated these violent acts are a disgrace to our city, and we will do everything possible to apprehend them and bring them to justice.

Reducing violence is my number one priority and the number one priority of my administration. Too many of our residents feel unsafe in their neighborhoods—even inside their own homes. This is unacceptable, and I will not tolerate it. We will not be satisfied until Baltimore becomes one of the safest big cities in America and all of our residents feel safe in their neighborhoods.

I’ve made it clear to Commissioner Batts that he and the men and women of the Baltimore Police Department have my full support, and they will have the resources needed to target repeat violent offenders, gangs, and illegal guns.

We ask for the community’s increased support and cooperation with the police. It is during these times that the partnership between police and residents is most critical. Our officers must be able to get the information they need to do their jobs, track down suspects, and make our communities safer.

I want to again emphasize the importance of stopping the flow of illegal guns into America’s cities. There is only one gun store in Baltimore City. It is clear that not enough is being done to disrupt the pipeline of illegal guns into our city.

At last week’s US Conference of Mayors annual conference, I met with my fellow mayors from across the country, and this issue was front-and-center. It needs to be front-and-center with Congress as well. Vice President Biden assured mayors that the Obama administration is committed to pressing forward. We need commonsense laws—including stronger background checks and federal enforcement—to help crack down on illegal guns. An overwhelming majority of Americans support stronger background checks, and both sides of the aisle must work together on a solution.

During the course of the next few weeks and beyond , I will continue to visit our officers in police districts to show them that we support the work they are doing and I’ll be visiting neighborhoods across the city to encourage increased cooperation and to build stronger partnerships with the community. Please join our cause to make Baltimore a safer city.

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