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Money spent on city policing better directed toward job-enabling transit | READER COMMENTARY

Investing more in services like the MARC train, left, and light rail, right, at Camden Station at Camden Yards might create jobs, reduce crime and lessen the need to hire more city police officers.
Investing more in services like the MARC train, left, and light rail, right, at Camden Station at Camden Yards might create jobs, reduce crime and lessen the need to hire more city police officers. (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun)

I want to congratulate Democratic nominee for Baltimore mayor, Brandon Scott, for winning the primary election. As we head into the November general election, I urge Mr. Scott to defund policing and fight for an equitable transit rail plan (“Defund the police: Not as scary (or new) as it sounds,” June 8).

In Baltimore, for every dollar spent on policing, 55 cents is spent on schools, another 5 cents is spent on city job programs, and 1 cent goes to mental health services and violence prevention. Yet this figure does not include what Baltimore taxpayers pay for police brutality, legal fees and settlements from police misconduct. We simply can’t keep throwing money away and expecting police officers to solve every social problem.

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Instead, Baltimore needs to invest in efficient rail lines to break down racial barriers and build trust across communities. A healthy, equitable transportation plan means creating a regional transit authority and expanding underground rail to ensure every neighborhood has access to better and safer mobility. As a city resident of over 10 years, I call for our city leaders to stop funding an outdated policing system that harms communities of color and perpetuates an endless cycle of poverty.

Baltimore residents deserve a leader who will reform policing, revitalize rail and put people first.

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Jaime D. Sigaran, Baltimore

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