Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake Adds More Officers In Response To Growing Violence

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Frustration grows across Baltimore City as the violence spirals out of control. The mayor now adds more officers to the streets to keep people safe.

The question is will it work?

Rochelle Ritchie has more on the mayor’s plans.

The mayor, along with Baltimore City Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez, say they are angered by the violence and they will use any and all resources available to make the city safer.

Flashing red and blue lights across Baltimore City are a constant reminder of the violence spreading on the streets.

“The driving force in the city is gangs and drugs and guns. They all go together,” Rodriguez said.

In just the last few days, Baltimore City police have rushed to several shootings, including that of a young couple gunned down inside their home.

And in Southeast Baltimore, a 7-year-old boy was among three people shot in a housing project.

“They are senseless. They don’t make sense. They don’t make sense at all. I can’t say too much more, ’cause I barely be out. I only come out when I have to,” said Rodney McCants.

The violence-filled streets are a growing problem for the last few months. The mayor first responded by adding two additional lawyers to the State’s Attorney’s Office to help prosecute known criminals.

Now she is taking it one step further.

“The police have deployed 150 officers, and that additional deployment will stay in place each day until at least Friday,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Baltimore City Police will also have assistance from the sheriff’s office, MTA, school police and Maryland State Police. But some don’t think the extra uniforms on the streets will make a difference.

“I don’t know what they can do with more police. That doesn’t stop it. They need to do something about the guns,” said Holly Carpenter.

While many of the crimes appear to be targeted, others are not, and innocent people are being caught in the crossfire.

The bloodshed is frustrating for residents living in the midst of the violence. Some are now afraid to come out of their own homes.

“I’m scared to go out myself. I don’t stay out at night, either,” Tony McCants.

Baltimore City has seen the number of shootings and murders double in percentages since last year.

The mayor says all sworn personnel not assigned to the field will now be assigned to the areas most prone to violence.

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