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Break up Baltimore to save it

Baltimore population falls, nearing a 100-year low, U.S. Census says.

Your recent editorial, "Baltimore's declining population" (March 26), states that city leaders have looked for simple answers to the drop. They should be blaming themselves. People are not running from the city, they are running from leadership that gives space to destroy.

They are leaving leadership that rushes to judgment to maliciously prosecute police officers who attempt to prevent crime and that agrees to a U.S. Department of Justice decree that paralyzes the police and puts law abiding people at the mercy of violent criminals. The editorial suggests that improving the schools might reverse the trend. That's not going to happen. Ask any teacher or police officer and they will give you the same answer: About 10 percent to 15 percent of the student and general population have no interest in contributing to civil society or rehabilitation.

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Leadership's failure to acknowledge and deal decisively with that single cross-cutting issue sacrifices all of us for those few. In fact, the plan by Mayor Catherine Pugh and the City Council to shift money from the police to the schools to help make up the $130 million shortfall, also mentioned in your editorial, will take us from bad to worse.

The realistic answer is to break apart and realign sections of the city with adjacent counties that have shared values, such as the waterfront to Anne Arundel County and Guilford, Homeland and surrounding areas to Baltimore County. In a word, Baltimore Exit or Baexit. All Maryland counties already provide funding to sustain Baltimore. This would add control and accountability.

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David Phillips, Baltimore

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