MedStar Harbor Hospital is the newest addition to Baltimore’s Safe Streets program, introducing two responders to the hospital’s emergency department to work with victims of violent crime.

Safe Streets employs community members who have personal experience with violence to mediate and promote non-violence. The hospital has hired one full-time responder and one part-time responder to work evenings and weekends. Responders will help diffuse conflicts and prevent retaliation.

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The violence interruption program launched at the hospital in March and is connected to a Safe Streets site in Cherry Hill.

According to the city’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) plans to finish expanding the program to 10 total sites, in addition to the program at MedStar Harbor Hospital.

Baltimore City Council members say budget must include Safe Streets funding

Several Baltimore City Council members said Friday they would not support a budget for next year that does not include funding for the Safe Streets violence prevention program.

Safe Streets moved from the Health Department to the MOCJ back in 2017. However, the program continues to employ health-based approaches to quell violence.

“Violence is a public health crisis and we at MedStar Harbor Hospital want to do our part to try to reduce it,” Ryan Moran, MedStar Health Director of Community Health for Baltimore City, said in a statement.

Responders at MedStar Harbor Hospital will also connect victims of crime with jobs, education and other resources they can tap into outside of the hospital.

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