So far this year, violent crime is down in Oliver, officials said, though property crime is up — in part because burglars are stealing copper piping and contractors' tools from construction sites.
As part of the initiative, State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein has assigned an attorney in his office to specifically handle cases involving crime in Oliver, prioritizing the prosecution of criminals who police and other officials say have an outsized negative impact in the community.
Anthony W. Batts and district and local commanders. There has been a recent bump in juvenile crime, and officers will be out enforcing curfews, officials said.
"We're going to reclaim this community," said Lt. Col. Darryl DeSousa, the area commander.
DeSousa said the focus on pairing law enforcement with substance abuse treatment will make the efforts particularly successful.
"It's a public safety phase and it's a health phase," he said. "Collectively, we're going to join phases to bring the neighborhood back to where it should be."
Maj. K.D. Matthews of the city's Eastern District said as the department was preparing for Tuesday's event, narcotics arrests were made in the 1700 block of N. Broadway.
"We're taking the right guys off the streets," Matthews said.
DeSousa said the visibility of officers in the neighborhood might scare off criminals only temporarily, but efforts — including new bike units ready to patrol starting this spring — will continue.
"They'll probably duck and hide," he said of Oliver's criminal element. "But that's not going to stop us."
Officials encouraged department heads and other stakeholders to track their actions to be included in an "after action report" chronicling the successes and failures of the event.
The focus on Oliver, in East Baltimore, comes at a time when West Baltimore is seeing the city's worst violence. This year, there have been 11 murders in West Baltimore and six in Southwest Baltimore, compared to just three in East Baltimore.
When asked why the city is focusing on Oliver when recent violence has been more pronounced across town, Rawlings-Blake said she is focused on solutions that will serve the entire city, and that efforts to address crime in other neighborhoods aren't suffering because of the Oliver initiative.
If the pilot program goes well in Oliver, she added, it could arrive in West Baltimore soon.
"We're putting all the resources on the table so people aren't slipping through the cracks," she said. "This is a 'one Baltimore' solution."