Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan seem to be at odds based on the plans to lower the crime rate in Baltimore. (Photo by Facebook)

By AFRO Staff

Governor Larry Hogan and Mayor Brandon Scott recently exchanged words over Baltimore’s crime and efforts to get it under control. 

In a blistering letter to Scott, Governor Hogan requested a progress report on Mayor Scott’s crime plan and how the money set aside to fix the problem was being used.

Mayor Scott assured him his crime plan would result in “meaningful reduction in violence,” despite the Baltimore City Council expressing a lack of progress in said plan in a May 19 letter to Baltimore Police Department Commissioner, Michael Harrison.

“The murders, shootings, and violent crime in the streets of Baltimore continues to be the most urgent issue facing our state. Already, less than six months into this year, 128 people have been murdered in Baltimore City,” said Hogan in the letter.  “The victims were a grandmother working as a DoorDash driver gunned down during a robbery, a mother shot while her children were inside the house, a pregnant woman and her fiance shot in her car and just days ago, a young student killed hours after his junior prom.” 

According to Hogan, the Maryland State Police (MSP) have completed at least 110,000 patrol checks and responded to 9,500 calls for service in Baltimore during the first six months of 2022. Hogan stated that the MSP engaged residents in more than 1,000 traffic stops, wrote over 3,500 citations and also made over 150 arrests in Charm City alone.

“The reality is, no matter how much money we invest or what state actions we take, Baltimore City will not ever get control of the violence if they can’t arrest more, prosecute more and sentence more of the most violent criminals to get them off the streets,” said Hogan. “The people of Baltimore deserve results from their city leaders and legislators not more empty platitudes and broken promises. Year after year we have introduced tough anti-violent crime legislation that is supported.”

Hogan also alleged that the Maryland State Police offered to help investigate violent crime in the city, but the Baltimore Police Department declined.

Mayor Scott called Governor Hogan’s letter a publicity stunt, as the issue was never addressed while they were in-person together at Preakness. 

“When you want to have a conversation as a man with another man, you do that when you see that man, especially when you’re spending essentially the whole day together at Preakness on a Saturday,” Scott said, stating that he was “confused by the Governor’s letter and its request.”

Scott said that since Hogan has taken office,  “he has refused to offer Baltimore any meaningful help, and crime has gone up every year.” 

“On multiple occasions, I have invited Governor Hogan to come to Baltimore to get a first-hand look at the work our officers and public safety agencies are doing daily,” Scott fired back at Hogan. “Each and every day, I work to prevent the loss of life in Baltimore city. The Governor knows how to help, but he refuses to do so. If the Governor wants a briefing, I’ll brief him, and if he wants to take me up on my offer to come to my city and see what we are doing every day, that offer stands.”

“Let’s begin with some facts: On February 1, Baltimore was 28 percent above 2021 in homicides and 25 percent above in non-fatal shootings. 

In Baltimore, year-to-date gun seizures are up 11 percent, violent gun seizures are up 19 percent, the homicide clearance rate is up 3.7 precent, and we are clearing warrants quicker than we did in 2021. In partnership with the Warrant Apprehension Task Force (WATF), we have cleared murder warrants in an average of 13 days, which is over an 18 percent increase from 2021.

Scott invited the governor to spend time with the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood and Safety Engagement (MONSE) to “learn about the Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS) work and to take time speaking with our violence interrupters and Safe Streets workers to understand the challenges they face in the work.”

He also offered to take Hogan on a tour of the new Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and let him explore how CitiWatch cameras and the Watch Center at Baltimore Police Department HQ operate. Scott also extended an invite to show Hogan one of four Baltimore City Intelligence Centers (BCICs), which scott said “are embedded in communities with high violence rates and provide real-time data and intelligence to our officers on the street.” 

“This way, he can see the work being done instead of pointing fingers from Switzerland without much effort,” said Scott.

As of this past Friday, 131 people have been killed in Baltimore, but another 276 people have been shot in Baltimore and survived their injuries. 

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