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Baltimore Mayor Pugh to give 'State of the City' speech Monday afternoon

Mayor Catherine Pugh on Monday will deliver Baltimore’s annual “State of the City” speech at 2:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers.

It will be Pugh’s second such speech as mayor.

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Last year, she used the occasion to describe her approach to fighting crime, saying she planned to focus more on providing social services instead of increasing spending on police. The Democratic mayor said she planned to focus on education, job training and addiction services and, as a result, crime would fall as jobs and opportunities increase.

In her first year as mayor, the 68-year-old former state senator took steps to try to reduce unemployment, shored up funding for schools and tore down public monuments to the Confederacy.

But the number of homicides in Baltimore soared above 300 for a third straight year. The city ended 2017 with more than 1,000 shootings.

This year, however, crime is trending down. Pugh has instituted 8 a.m. meetings with 30 agencies coordinating what they are doing to fight crime — with a particular target on certain key areas called “Violence Reduction Zones.”

So far in 2018 shootings have declined by 40 percent compared to the same time last year, and violent crime has deceased by 24 percent.

In the past year, the city has added about 1,500 jobs, according to state data.

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