Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99

Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

Safe Streets program of dubious value [Letter]

The Baltimore Safe Streets program has taken another hit with the arrest of one of its mediators on federal drug and gun violations ("Drug, gun suspect worked for Safe Streets program," Dec. 3). His job in the well-meaning but naive gun violence suppression program was to curtail gun violence by reaching out to the criminals in the targeted community and gain their trust.

And why was this believed to be a workable solution to curtain gun violence? It was believed that because the mediator was one of them or used to be one of them, he could somehow get the gun thugs to change the way they operated in the community. Perhaps they would give up settling disagreements with a gun or using gun violence to further their criminal enterprises — maybe substituting a knife or a slap for a gun.

The touted success of this program by its supporters in the areas it operates is questionable since it assumes Safe Streets is responsible for any improvement and not to any other gun violence suppression initiative by the Baltimore Police Department. One sure way to determine if Safe Streets can carry water is to produce data based on interviews with the "bad guys with guns" and ask them if they are settling disagreements with words and not guns and if they really give a hoot if some former con preaches the straight and narrow.

Jim Giza, Baltimore

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Common sense on crime and poverty
    Common sense on crime and poverty

    It was frustrating to read Dan Rodricks' point-by-point discussion of the "typical" middle-class resident's perspective on the poor ("Let's help the poor, but not too close to home," Feb. 2).

  • Protesters won't march for city officer who was shot
    Protesters won't march for city officer who was shot

    Regarding the city police officer who was shot during a traffic stop, can we look forward to the Rev. Al Sharpton and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's involvement in this atrocity ("Officer shot in West Baltimore," Dec. 15)?

  • Mayor wrong to focus on police assaults
    Mayor wrong to focus on police assaults

    Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appears to believe that criminal assaults by police are a predominant manifestation of crime in Baltimore ("Mayor wants new felony charge to address police assaults," Feb. 2).

  • Is violence contagious?
    Is violence contagious?

    Baltimore police say they can't explain the recent uptick in homicides in the city's Northeast District, which has seen more murders than any other part of the city so far this year. The killings seem disturbingly random, ranging from domestic disputes and arguments among neighbors to drug- and...

  • Batts' false moral equivalence
    Batts' false moral equivalence

    Police Commissioner Anthony Batts recently wondered if there would be marches for the city police officer who was shot during a traffic stop ("Officer shot in West Baltimore," Dec. 15).

  • Baltimore's thin blue line
    Baltimore's thin blue line

    Across America, police officers put their lives on the line each day to protect the public and enforce our laws. They represent the "thin blue line" that divides the criminal from the law-abiding, civilization from anarchy. It is a potentially dangerous job, and the officers who devote their lives...

Comments
Loading

63°