Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh asked Gov. Larry Hogan Monday for a slew of new resources to fight violent crime in Baltimore, including 20 prosecutors to target gangs and drugs.
In a letter to Hogan, Frosh responded to the governor’s order that he prosecute more violent crime in the city by saying he would need about 30 more staff members to have an impact on the persistent violence.
Frosh, who has eight prosecutors targeting violent crime, wrote he is requesting from Hogan “an expansion beyond our current efforts sizable enough to make a meaningful difference” to fight drug and gun crimes.
The Democratic attorney general said he is seeking 20 additional assistant attorneys general for prosecution of gang violence and drug trafficking, three prosecutors to target firearms trafficking, five analysts to assist with criminal investigations, two victim-witness coordinators to assist with prosecutions, more funding for witness protection, and more support from state police for investigations by Frosh’s office.
“To make genuine progress, both my criminal division and the office of the Baltimore city state’s attorney require additional attorneys, investigators and other support personnel,” Frosh wrote to the Republican governor.
Baltimore has suffered from more than 300 homicides for three years in a row ― and homicides are up again this year. The city has experienced nearly 900 shootings to date in 2019.
Hogan spokeswoman Kata Hall said the governor has “repeatedly called for an all-hands-on-deck approach to address the violent crime crisis in Baltimore city, and we are glad that the attorney general is taking this urgent issue seriously.”
“The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention recently had a productive discussion with the attorney general’s office, and we will certainly review his requests,” Hall said. "Ending the deadly and sickening violence in Baltimore city shouldn’t be a partisan issue.”
Arguing that Baltimore prosecutors are too quick to drop cases, Hogan last month directed Frosh to step in and prosecute more violent crimes, gun crimes and organized crime in the city as a way to try to get longer sentences for offenders. The governor blamed city prosecutors for what he called “excessively lenient plea deals.”
“Far too often in Baltimore city, violent offenders get a slap on the wrist and are released back out on the streets to commit another violent offense,” Hogan wrote.
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby objected to the governor’s description of her office’s performance, arguing that Hogan could better help fight crime by providing more resources instead of blaming other people. Mosby is a Democrat.