Mayor Young Joins Federal & State Partners to Announce New Violence Reduction Program

BALTIMORE, MD.  — This week, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced a new violence reduction program, I Care Baltimore, in partnership with federal and state government officials. I Care Baltimore is a multi-faceted program designed to reduce violent crime by empowering community members, by highlighting programs that are making a difference in the City of Baltimore by offering alternatives to violence, and by increasing awareness of the consequences of federal prosecution for violent repeat offenders. The new initiative, funded by a $250,000 grant to the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) from the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services, builds on the U.S. Attorney’s Office Project Exile which seeks to remove guns from the hands of criminals. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the I Care program now also offers resources available to assist Baltimoreans to stay safe and healthy.

“Reducing violent crime in Baltimore, and specifically gun violence, has always been the top priority of my administration,” said Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. “I will continue to seek out critical partnerships to that end. I have reviewed the I Care Baltimore program and am extremely proud of the work by this partnership to get this to the finish line. I Care Baltimore is my administration’s latest example of our commitment to interagency collaboration and another tool we will utilize to build Baltimore.”

The initiative was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Director Glenn Fueston of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services; Director Tamika Gauvin of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and State’s Attorney for Baltimore City Marilyn J. Mosby.

“I commend all of our partners who worked together to launch this platform,” said Tamika Gauvin, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. “I Care Baltimore not only recognizes the plethora of good work that is already happening right here in our City, but also emphasizes the crucial link between addressing community needs and fighting the violence that grows out of despair and desperation.”

To help deter gun crime, the I Care Baltimore initiative has placed 18 billboards at locations around Baltimore highlighting the importance of positive decision-making and awareness of the consequences of poor decisions. Images and locations of the billboards can be found here.

The coalition has partnered with Radio One, which operates five stations in the Baltimore area, including WERQ 92Q, to implement the program. The I Care Baltimore website is live and will be updated regularly. The website includes: monthly highlights of different community organizations helping make Baltimore a safer and healthier place to live; a highlighted organization each month; community resources, listed by area; a link to report crime tips anonymously; and a section where individuals can pledge their support to I Care Baltimore, either through specific actions or through monetary donations. The program will also be advertised at events attended by Radio One disc jockeys and government officials, once the current stay-at-home order has been lifted.

Baltimore faces many challenges but there are many good things happening in Baltimore, too. I Care is about uplifting the best of Baltimore City, understanding that the future is in our hands.  It’s about helping citizens to get involved with the organizations that make Baltimore the greatest city in America. I Care is about providing communities with the tools and resources to make a positive change. Show Baltimore that you care by becoming part of the solution.

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