Mayor’s Office to Hold Community Brainstorm Sessions on Group Violence Reduction Strategy

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Jack French
(443) 248-3786

jack.french@baltimorecity.gov

Starting Again Sunday, Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement to Continue to Gather Resident Feedback on Public Safety Initiative

BALTIMORE, MD. (Thursday, December 9, 2021) – Starting Sunday, December 12, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE), the Baltimore Police Department, and the State Attorney's Office will host public brainstorm sessions to garner feedback to shape the City’s Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS) — a key part of Mayor Brandon M. Scott’s Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan. The sessions are open to the public and will be facilitated by the Baltimore Community Mediation Center.

These brainstorm sessions follow a series of community conversations that took place in October and November of this year. Those community conversations covered the basics of GVRS with residents. With strong community engagement being a cornerstone of the strategy, these brainstorm sessions will focus on identifying ways that the community can remain engaged in the strategy going forward. 

“This strategy has proven to be successful in preventing violence in other cities, but it will only produce results for Baltimore if we bring the community into these conversations,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “As we work to activate our Group Violence Reduction Strategy in the Western District, we will remain in the community to report on our progress and engage our residents, maintaining high levels of transparency on both the strategy and our progress on implementing the Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan."

GVRS is a crime prevention strategy that aims to deter crime by increasing the swiftness, severity, and certainty of punishment for crimes by implementing a mix of law enforcement, social services, and community mobilization. In his Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan released in July, Mayor Scott committed to launching a robust strategy, starting in the Western District, in partnership with the Baltimore Police Department, the State’s Attorney’s Office, and federal partners. This will be the City’s leading strategy to reduce homicides and promote justice.

“Our residents live with trauma and its effects in their day-to-day lives,” said MONSE Director Shantay Jackson. “To repair the damage caused by gun violence, we must work together to create a geographically- and culturally-relevant solution that works for our city. These sessions are how we do that.” 

Understanding that maintaining trust between the community and GVRS will be crucial in helping to save and heal lives in Baltimore, BCMC will continue to serve as a trusted resource in helping GVRS collect feedback from community members. 

These brainstorm sessions will be held at Robert C. Marshall Recreation Center, 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217 on the following dates:

  • Sunday, December 12, 2021 - 1:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 6:00-9:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 5, 2022 - 6:00-9:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Food will be provided at each session. To ensure proper COVID-19 safety protocols for

in-person participants, please RSVP by calling (443) 901-8355.

GVRS is an approach that facilitates direct, sustained engagement with the small number of group-involved individuals through a partnership of community leaders, social service providers, employers, and law enforcement standing and acting together. The focus is explicitly on homicide and serious violence. Successful implementations of GVRS in the United States have resulted in a 30–60 percent reduction in homicides. 

GVRS relies on strong collaboration between community members, support and outreach providers, and law enforcement. These partners engage directly with those most intimately involved in and affected by gun violence to keep them safe, alive, and free – supporting them in their daily lives, communicating community norms in support of everybody’s safety and success, and where necessary, creating swift, certain, and legitimate accountability for violence.

Learn more about the Group Violence Reduction Strategy at monse.baltimorecity.gov/gvrs.

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