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Jack Young: I will spend ‘every waking moment’ looking for ways to reduce violent crime

Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young, and Sunny Schnitzer, Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety, discuss policies to bring down crime and the homicide rate in the coming year.
Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young, and Sunny Schnitzer, Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety, discuss policies to bring down crime and the homicide rate in the coming year. (Amy Davis)

There’s no escaping the fact that 2019 was an extremely painful year for all of us who love the city of Baltimore.

At the dawn of a new decade, I, like most Baltimoreans, am devastated by the record number of men, women and children who were victims of senseless acts of fatal violence during the preceding years.

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I go to sleep every night and wake up every morning remembering the anguished looks — from mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children — that paint the faces of so many of the surviving relatives of victims of homicide.

In recent years, several of my own sisters have had to prematurely bury their sons – my nephews — due to gun violence.

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Our collective loss and suffering is completely unfair, yet worse still, totally unnecessary.

We have to do better. We must do better. We absolutely will do better.

And as your mayor, I pledge to spend every waking minute coming up with strategies in partnership with anyone working to reduce violence in Baltimore.

Over the past few weeks, we have received pledges of support from Gov. Larry Hogan’s office and the federal government, and have begun deploying these additional resources in our crime fight.

In 2020, our unwavering dedication to Baltimore will propel us toward the safer city we all deserve.

By any objective measurement, 2019 was a tough year. But there were, however, slight glimmers of hope to build upon.

We expanded to nine the number of Safe Streets sites, the city’s flagship violence intervention program. Combined, these sites mediated 1,819 conflicts, and in December, the Cherry Hill Safe Streets site marked 365 days without a firearm-related homicide.

The ROCA program, which the city is heavily invested in, and is designed to work actively with high-risk youth to help prevent shootings, conducted more than 3,200 contacts with teens and young adults in just six months in 2019. The program also helped 48 young men find work.

Through a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Performance and Innovation and the Baltimore Police Department, in addition to other city agencies, we’re holding reinvigorated PoliceStat meetings that use a data-driven approach to policing and accountability. Through this effort we can track key areas of the police department that will help us do everything from quickly identifying patterns of violent crime to analyzing the use of technology in an attempt to increase the productivity of individual units. While these initiatives have shown encouraging signs, no single program can solely turn the tide of violence.

Looking ahead to 2020, we have several new initiatives that we’ll combine with the previous efforts. They include:

  • The Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice is working with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services on a strategic partnership to better align city, state and community resources.
  • Moving forward, PoliceStat will focus almost exclusively on measuring our progress on identifying and charging gun crimes.
  • In the coming weeks, we will begin holding weekly case reviews with the police department and Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office to look at homicides, non-fatal shootings and armed robberies to try and identify patterns and help prevent retaliatory violence.
  • After completing a pilot project earlier this year, the city and several of our partners are in the process of finalizing a non-fatal shooting response protocol. This protocol is designed to target resources to prevent retaliation in the wake of a shooting in some of the most violent areas of the city.
  • And with support from a federal grant, the city will also establish a position in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice focused on helping individuals with re-entry into the community, including finding jobs.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will share additional crime-reduction efforts and remain relentless in our pursuit of a safer Baltimore.

We owe it to ourselves and to the victims who are no longer with us.

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Let’s remember them and pledge to do everything in our power to reduce violence in our city in 2020. In the year ahead, I’d like our efforts to be in honor of the victims whose lives were taken in 2019 and the many others from previous years who were taken from us far too soon.

Bernard C. “Jack” Young is Mayor of Baltimore. His email is mayor@baltimorecity.gov and his Twitter handle is @mayorbcyoung.

The 2019 victims as of Dec. 31 that have been identified by police are as follows:

Ikeem Montrelle Isaac; Tavon Hammond; Troy Lamont Harrison; Javonte Quardrell Harden; Tavon Travis Wilson; Renika Howard; Ankita Verma; Anthony Roberts; Demetriou Rich; Rennie Milligan; Carlis Mabble; Dennis Lawson; John William Cobb; Corey Dodd; Davonte Robinson; Melvin Ray Harper; David Booth; Alvin Stewart; Anthony Seward; Ronald Sylvester Goode; Harold Junious Blandon Jr.; Jame Rucker; Tommie Graham Jr.; Edward Eugene Smith; Calvin Devon Gilbert; Jasper Willie Thomas; Sedrik Peterson; Dominic Willliams; David Golden; Maryann Wellington; Jonathan Johnson-Clayborne; Santos Medrano; Andre Haydel; Gregory Harding Jr.; Justin Forney; Darius Davenport; Ray Parker; Deondre Johnson; Jason Dante Hodge; Maliek Brice; Kenny Carlos Truxon; Rodriguez Sawyers; Kaylyn High; Octavius Blackwell; Trevor Graham; Michael Perry; Tywon Smith; Thomas Michael Braxton; William B. Moore; Therone Lammont Jones III; Mason Hailey; Michael William Davis; Taylor Davis; Jeremy Thompson; Nicholas Mcpherson; Jawan Armstrong; De-Andre Johnson; Markell Hendricks; Kyeon Gaither; Ryan Brunson; Jevano Johnson; Anthony Grandison; Daunta Davis; Quinton Thomas Rodgers; Deshawn Mccoy; Samuel Dietrich; Tyree Rashidi Lee; Kenneth Maddox; Lamont Green; Jahi Blackmon; Alfredo John Brathwaite; Lakesha Clark; Corey Moss; Diarah Baxter; Marcus Alston; Levar Deondre’taqu Mullen-El; Ruben Jackson Sr.; Marvin Hawkins; Lee Vernon Mcfadden; Davon Mayo; Keith Mickles; Larry Matthews; West Cager; Tinestta Denise Young; Kevon Dix; James Smith; Kenneth Gerald Smith; Shauna Michelle Phillips; Juan Anthony Grant; Derrell Briscoe; William James; Robert Richardson; Dashawn Shelton; Vernon Jacobs; Erskine Lionel Reed Jr.; Tyrone Johnson; Joh Holland Jr.; Larry Petway; Jorge Perez; James Mesak Lomax; Desha Nicole Jones; Ebae Emon Drake; Darrell Walker; Travis Gardner; Wanda Denise Diggins; Devone Manning; Robert Williams; Lakesha Shnay Price; Sidney Carl Brewer; Terrell Patterson; Dejua Conaway; Jame Chase; Emmanuel Olatunji; Tavon Kintchen; Frederick Nelson; Correy Sheldon Cawthorn; Darrell Eugene Fordham Jr.; Todd Davis; Andre Hosea Davis; Jennifer Velasquez; Cody Bonner; David Mackall Jr.; Elsie Cottman; Donnie Walton; Meredeth Perry; Aaron Lemon; Antwane Knight; Ramone Treyvon Manley; Gerald Brown; Derle Brooks; Terrell Matthews; Karl Jennings; Jessie Bernard Evans; Davone Brooks; Dominique Foster; Brandon Daquan Silver; Taven Sylvester Lowther; Jawan Deferro Dukes; Devin Taylor; Tory Palmer; Dwane Harris; Antwain Jeremiah Seabon; Deandre Crawford; Jamal Dixon; Christopher Sutton; Orion Ruhle; Deairis Jones; Antonio Lamont Jackson Jr.; Antoine Webster; Raymond Johnson; Robert Davis; Harold Amos; Sheraton Mcelwee; Joshua Norman; Kenneth Charles Whitley; Davron Dorsey; Daron Benjamin; Tisa Theodore Blount; Jordan Taylor; Julien Rosaly; Brittany Foster; Yasmine Wilson; Wayne Johnson; Kenyon Antonio Condrey; Jamal Eugene Allen; Robert Eric Taylor; Kevin Starnes; Juwan Vellines; Wayne Shennard Mali Phillips; Frank Mcneil; Manuel Luis Jr.; Anita Cheek; Travis Chance; Donte Winchester Webb; Brandon Cobb; Jaquan Johnson; David Martin Caldwell; Alan Tyrone Downer; Kali Tyree; Antone Shantel Suggs; Charles Faulk; Antoine Gordon; Lonnie Edwards; Nathaniel Greene; Curtis Cannon; Carlos Antonio Liverpool Jr.; Brock Burton; Devon Marcel Chavis; Scott Franklin; Anton Eastman; Calvin Carter; Dontae Samuel; Markel Jackson; Deionbra Goings; Steven Tasker; Johnny Johnson; Kendrick Sharpe; Malachi Lawson; Dominique Edmonds; Michelle Blanding; Michael Wudtee; Karon Taylor; Tamar Brown; Devin Rogers; Charles Jeffreys; Chianti Barber; Tiyon Lorenzo Turmon; Damien Carlton; Yousef Adam; Dominique Mitchell; David Lane; Dominique Dante Harvey; Da’yon Thomas; Sherman Reed Jr.; Michael Beatty; Evan Scott Brewington; Tyrin Brown; Kenneth Shellington; Antonio Lavelle Skipwith; Shawnice Singletary; Avery Rich; Terrance Whiters; Donald Jackson; Ricardo Antonio James; Jermaine Shawn Stroud Jr.; Milton Carrington; Karen Lovings; Gregory Turnipseed; Bailey A. Reeves; Donte Moses; Darian Carter; Jawaun Palmer; Julie Pacheco; Issac Lawson; Tyler Evan Kirby; Terrance Featherstone; Romar Burden; Kawontay Raysh Witherspoon; Antonio Whitfield; John Ervin Jones Jr.; Demond Scroggins; Dwayne Patrick; Hamilcar Barca; Jamaine Carraway; Jesse Perez; Donta Butler; Claude Scott; Sean Garland; Donald Cooper; Chaz Wynton Fox; Nijuan Barbour; Donye Lowther; Cyrus Beads; Antonio Randall; Alex Bland; Joyce Anderson; Anthony Eubanks; Nathaniel Roberts; Brian Huntley; Joseph Morris; Caleb Carter; Donnell A. Goodin; Siera Benson; Corey Taylor; Brandon Hill; Antonio Modica; Wayne Johnson; Traymar Brown; James Edward Thompson; Deontae Taylor; Daurron Scott; Antwan Conley; Franklin Ausby; John Quick; Demetrius Tanner; Frank Payne; Tiffani Marie Davis; Christian Deonte Brown; Marc Antonio Jackson; Dana Brown; Kris Mccoy; Darius De Vontee Roary; Keiosha Moore; Antonio Cornelius Johnson; Donnell Dixon; Brittian Matthews; Daquan Chambers; Jordan Richards; Paul Anthony Edwards Jr.; Christopher Alexander Garner; Robert Davis; Courtney Cooper; Jordan Deane Taylor; William Gough; Antonio Kelly; Amanda Lea Burket; David Gilliam; Donnell Brockington; Abdullah Meleck Barber-El Jr.; Africa Nicole Powell; Ayranna Uniq James; Courtney Richardson; Brandon Geter; Anthony Turner; Melvin Martin; James Rytina; Steven Morton; Corey Jones; Kevin Black; Reginald Baker; Tionne Jones; Brian Moore; Deiveon Carter; Derrel Lahkim Blakney; Travon Mcdonald; Marvin Mason; Antonio Clayton; Syncere Curry; Purnell Murphy; Toni Gaither; Glen Wilson; William Scott; Nathan Lynn Rosenberry; London Stuckey; Earl Pearson; Darrell Burrell; Justin Lewis; David Lee Wilson; Keontay Deandre Porter; Sean Davis; Lamonte Allen Williams; Kahleel Boston; Dannette Sheppard; Donald Lee Ingram; Daniel Powell; Destiny Harrison; Corey Ward; Carmen Rodriguez; Harlem Phillips; Louis Anthony Grant; Michael Smalls; Travis Smith; Darryl Stewart; Ronald Carroll; Ralston Anderson; Aulsyn Anderson

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