Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces Next Stops on Public Safety Town Hall Tour, Adds Youth Violence Forum on May 13

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Bernard C. "Jack" Young
Baltimore City
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James E. Bentley II
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BALTIMORE, Md. (April 24, 2014)—Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined Commissioner Anthony Batts, the Presiding Prelate Bishop William Phillips DeVeaux, and pastors of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church during their 198th session of the Baltimore AME Conference to announce the next two stops on her Public Safety Town Hall Tour and include an additional stop on the tour focused on youth violence.  One week following the third stop on the tour, at a time where multiple young Baltimore City residents have either been the victims or perpetrators of violent crime, the mayor released the details for her upcoming public safety forums in the Southwestern and Northwestern police districts, and announced the addition of a separate session specifically for youth to address recent youth violence.  "Senseless violence has already taken the lives of 9 young people under the age of 20 this year," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "In our grief, it's important to remember that the best way to honor these young lives is to recommit ourselves to doing everything we can to support our youth. We must be there to show our youth we care before it becomes a law enforcement issue."  The details for the next stops on the Public Safety Town Hall Tour are as follows: 

  • Monday, May 5, 7:00 pm: Northwestern Police District Public Safety Forum, Jewish Community Center, 5700 Park Heights Avenue 
  • Monday, May 12, 7:00 pm: Southwestern Police District Public Safety Forum, Edmondson-Westside High School, 501 N. Athol Avenue 
  • Tuesday, May 13, 6:00 pm: City-Wide Youth Public Safety Forum, War Memorial Building, 101 N. Gay Street

The public safety town hall meetings allow the mayor and police commissioner to engage directly with Baltimore City residents and hear their concerns regarding crime in Baltimore. In each police district, the Administration shares efforts currently underway to eliminate violent criminal activity and identify opportunities for residents to partner in the City's endeavors to make Baltimore a safer city. Following a brief presentation, community leaders and residents are invited to share their concerns and ask questions pertaining to violent crime in Baltimore; as well as, discuss other issues that indirectly impact public safety. 

Considering the recent incidents of youth violence, the Administration has added a forum for youth to speak directly to the Administration and other Baltimore City leader to express their concerns and provide ideas for how government can better support them. 

Recognizing the fact that young people who are on the streets at night are more likely to either become victims of violent crime or perpetrators of it, in this year's State of the City, Mayor Rawlings-Blake announced her plan to implement Youth Connection Centers address for teens that violate the City curfew. The centers will allow minors in violation of curfew laws to be transported to safe environments until parents or guardians arrive to pick them up. While there, youth and their families will be connected with services that support and promote positive youth development. Initial funding for the Youth Connection Centers was approved during this week's Board of Estimates meeting. 

The Administration is committed to Baltimore's youth. Last month, the mayor introduced the B'More Night Hoops Basketball League for youth and young adults, ages 15-21. In addition to the fun and fitness aspect of the league, youth participants will be mentored, as well as learn about opportunities pertaining to education, employment development, and financial literacy. Additionally, the fiscal year 2015 budget continues to invest in recreation centers, and provides funding for a new center in the Cherry Hill Community. 

"I'm committed to our young people," concluded Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "And, now is the time for us to come together, rally around our youth, tell them how much we love them, and show them that we are working to make sure they can realize their full potential." 

The tour began on Wednesday, March 12 at Frederick Douglass High School in the Western Police District. Since then, the tour has made stops in the Eastern and Southern police districts. It will continue throughout the next couple of months—ultimately making stops in all nine police districts.

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