City Council approves CeaseFire, police overtime funding in $2.2 million crime fighting proposal

Baltimore's nearly $2.2 million proposal to reduce violent crime received preliminary approval from the City Council Monday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.

The proposal would support Operation CeaseFire, a program aimed at reducing recidivism rates among violent offenders; and a youth center to hold minors who break curfew; and includes $1.2 million in city gambling revenue for overtime and staffing in high-crime areas.


As the mayor stressed the need for the supplemental funding at a Monday evening news conference at City Hall, she said less than 1 percent of Western District residents committed more than 60 percent of the killings and more than 70 percent of the nonfatal shootings in that area.

"This data demonstrates that our crime-fighting strategy focused on the most violent repeat offenders is the right strategy," Rawlings-Blake said.


Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said the first of the CeaseFire call-in meetings — which bring offenders before local, state and federal law enforcement as well as community members who have been affected by the violence — was successful in the Western District. Members of media were invited to the meeting Tuesday but were told upon arrival that it would be closed.

"Between law enforcement, a mother who had to deal with the pain of losing a child, the gang member who comes out on the other end of this activity — hopefully we push [repeat offenders] to getting out of the life," Batts said. "But if they don't, we're going to take them away."

In the Eastern District, where a man was shot to death on a bicycle near Old Town Mall Monday afternoon, the city has beefed up police presence, he said.

The mayor and commissioner also pointed to a new police contract beginning July 1 they say will allow the department more flexibility to add patrols in crime-riddled parts of the city.

"We're trying to go after people who we know are doing the violence, who are impacting people," Batts said.