Your report "Three killed, two injured in violence overnight, police say" (July 19) made me realize we have an urgent situation in Baltimore City.
None of the politicians, including the mayor, the City Council and the police chief, are willing to acknowledge this crisis. Why don't they have the guts to tell the truth?
The truth is that there is a war is going on between 95 percent of the law-abiding citizens of Baltimore and the other 5 percent — the drug lords, gang lords and drug addicts.
This 5 percent of the population are winning right now because of the failure of our elected leaders to do their jobs. Citizens in Baltimore City are getting shot every day and that is unacceptable.
Here's what needs to be done: The mayor must ask the governor to declare a state of emergency in Baltimore City. Once that is done, the National Guard can be brought in for a three-week period to clear out the gang lords, drug lords and their hangers-on.
If this were done we would witness the largest reduction in crime in the history of Baltimore City.
The law-abiding citizens should then demand they be told the truth — that there is a huge shortage of police officers to provide the safety law-abiding citizens deserve.
A crash program to hire at least 500 more police officers should be implemented. More police officers and more foot patrols would go a long way toward curbing the atrocities being committed on the streets of Baltimore every day.
The attacks on officers have made hiring additional police no easy task. But we need to come to grips with the mission and reward these heroes with the incentives and rewards that most of them deserve.
Police Commissioner Kevin Davis' idea of relaxing drug-testing standards for police applicants is not going to be a magic potion for hiring additional officers. And making deals to reduce the number of officers in exchange for pay increases is not a solution. We need both — more officers and pay increases together.
I plan to ask Gov. Larry Hogan to declare a state of emergency in Baltimore City and to call up the National Guard — actions that will finally bring a measure of badly needed protection to the law-abiding citizens of Baltimore City.