Thank You and Happy New Year
Sunday Jan 1st, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD. (Sunday, January 1, 2023) — Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott released the following statement to usher in the new year for Baltimore City.
"As we enter the new year, I want to take a moment to reflect on the progress we have made in improving public safety in our city. While we have much to be proud of, we also recognize that there is much more work to be done.
My administration is committed to continuously making public safety a top priority and taking a comprehensive approach to address violence in Baltimore. This involves not only the efforts of our Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE) and the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), but also the collaboration of all city agencies in addressing the root causes of crime.
We have seen significant progress in our efforts to combat gun violence, with a 19% increase in gun arrests and the seizure of over 2,600 weapons, including 477 ghost guns. However, we recognize that policing alone will not solve the problem, so we are focused on addressing the underlying causes that contribute to violence in our communities. Through MONSE, we are providing individuals with the resources they need to choose a better path and holding those who engage in violent behavior accountable.
In 2022, we saw a 5% decrease in non-fatal shootings, and while that is a start in the right direction it is not good enough. In 2023, we will continue to strive for better results as we look to achieve a 10% reduction in non-fatal shootings. Through our Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS) pilot program, we have been in contact with more than 100 individuals and connected 71 participants to services such as life coaching, employment, and housing assistance.
We have balanced this approach with enforcement action taken against 60 group involved suspects that were arrested by BPD's Group Violence Unit. These efforts contributed to a 34% decrease in homicides and non-fatal shootings in the Western District. We are expecting to carry this momentum into the Southwestern District as the program expands to that area in 2023. I am eager to examine how this strategy can improve the quality of life for residents across the city, that is why training on this model is being provided to additional police districts in anticipation of us scaling up this strategy.
In addition to our efforts to reduce violence, we are also focused on supporting victims and survivors of crime through MONSE's Victim Services program, which works closely with the BPD and the Baltimore City State Attorney's Office to provide assistance to those victims of violence who may not have traditionally received it.
As we move forward into 2023, I encourage all of us to come together to change the culture of crime and violence in our city and create the safe communities we deserve. The presence of crime and violence is a manifestation of issues in our communities going unaddressed, so I challenge residents to report quality-of-life issues and drug activity in their neighborhoods to 3-1-1. We can all do our part to increase public safety by being cognizant of what's going on around us and using our voices to demand change.
Thank you for your continued support and commitment to improving public safety in Baltimore."
Mayor Brandon M. Scott