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Pugh-Rawlings-Blake At Odds Over Crime-Fighting Plans

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Strategy in dispute. Two Baltimore mayoral campaigns are at odds over their crime-fighting plans.

Political Reporter Pat Warren has more on the conflict.

The Stephanie Rawlings-Blake campaign accuses challenger Catherine Pugh of offering a “stolen public safety plan.”

“I think it’s just a desperate attempt to keep yourself out there instead of engaging with the community,” Sen. Pugh said.

Pugh unveiled her crime-fighting strategy Thursday and got a scolding from the Rawlings-Blake camp.

The Rawlings-Blake campaign compared crime-fighting statements made by both candidates. Although the wording differs, both will work to get stronger state laws, target repeat offenders and enhance penalties for crimes committed with guns.

It stated: “If our opponent’s claims about the mayor not doing enough to reduce crime were really true why would they propose the same plan she’s already implementing? It makes you wonder if the senator really believes her own rhetoric.”

“Nowhere in that plan will you see the language she’s talking about,” Sen. Pugh said. “What she’s talking about is a general strategy that any city that’s focusing in on crime reduction and violent criminals would use.”

Pugh says the statement used by her opponent comes from her website, not her plan, and while the goals are the same, their ways achieving those goals vary greatly.

“What this plan is, which she obviously has not read, is a crime-prevention strategy for Baltimore,” she said. “It focuses on youth, it focuses on engaging the community, it focuses on our work that we’ve done with our faith-based community. And we sat down with the police department, the community, and those who are concerned about crime prevention, and this is what we crafted.”

Crime-fighting is a major issue in this mayoral race, and it is only inevitable that some of the strategies would have to overlap.

A Baltimore mayoral candidates forum is taking place at the Coldstream Community Corporation in Northeast Baltimore on  Thursday night.

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