Batts said the temporary move to the recently formed Community Partnership Division "will be good for him and good for us." Guglielmi declined to comment.

Batts said the agency is responding to the violence, but had difficulty conveying it over the weekend. He told the public safety committee Wednesday he would start making his command staff available for media interviews.

"You've got to give confidence … that we know what's going on," Batts said. "We can't be on every block. We're not going to stop every issue that takes place, but we're on top of it. We're taking charge."

Batts and his deputies said much of the shootings stemmed from gang turf wars and drug dealing. One fight at a nightclub a couple of weeks ago led to six shootings later, they said.

Some City Council members took the spike in violence personally. Warren Branch, who chairs the public safety committee, lives about a block from the East Baltimore street where an 18-year-old woman was killed Saturday.

Branch opened the meeting by saying he would have no patience for a "dog and pony show" with statistics showing crime was down.

Councilman James Kraft questioned the Police Department's tactics.

After a spike in violence, police put on a show of force, but "where does that get us 90 days from now?" he asked. "It doesn't get to the heart of the issue."

Other council members praised the use of patrols.

"My residents have definitely noticed a change," after a spike in homicides in the Western District led police to step up their presence, Councilman Nick Mosby said.

Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said police need to take the lead, but "all of us together have to be accountable for our neighborhoods."

At McCulloh Homes, where the man carrying the baby was shot, residents said police would have to maintain a strong presence there to make a lasting difference.

The area was quiet Wednesday. Little girls combed the hair of mannequin heads on the front porch of one home while a landscaper trimmed trees around the homes' paved courtyard and concrete benches. But neighbors were still shaken up by the chaos.

Sha'Naa Davis, 32, the mother of two girls and a boy, said she was at church with her children when the shooting started.

"That's too close for comfort," she said.

Davis said she wishes police would send more foot patrol officers into the low-rise complex to monitor the area and talk to residents.

"The only time they come through is when something is wrong," she said. "And then, when they come, no one wants to participate."

She said the mayor needs to walk through McCulloh Homes and other neighborhoods to bolster confidence in public safety. Rawlings-Blake walked through downtown Baltimore this month in an effort to reassure visitors that that area was secure.

"She needs to be out in the community, showing us it's safe," Davis said.

Edith Green, 69, agreed.

Green, who said she has lived in McCulloh Homes for 15 years, also wants to see the police there more frequently. She said she's seen officers walking around the complex just once this year.

"They're waiting until something happens, and that's the worst to do," she said. "I thought [Rawlings-Blake would] be better than that. Wait until somebody gets killed and then make yourself visible?"

Baltimore Sun reporter Carrie Wells contributed to this article.

jfenton@baltsun.com