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Governor’s Office Putting Money Into Program To Fight Violent Crimes

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A push to cut crime. This year, Maryland commits to nearly $2 million to help cut the number of violent crimes statewide.

Marcus Washington speaks with people in our area who say this is a move desperately needed.

Too often, lives are lost to senseless violent crimes in the Baltimore area. That’s why the governor’s office is putting big money into a program to fight the problem.

To many of us, they are just names. But for some families, those names represent a time when their worlds crumbled.

“It’s unusual that everybody I grew up with has lost a child, has lost a son,” said Barlana Cain, Mothers of Murdered Sons and Daughters.

Each year, hundreds of lives in the Baltimore area are lost to senseless crimes.

“My mother had been shot years prior, my sister, my nephew, I lost two uncles to gunfire. So when my son got shot, it really hit close to home,” said Denise Reid, Mothers of Murdered Sons and Daughters.

In a push to cut down on violent crimes, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention is fronting nearly $2 million to improve cooperation and information sharing between all levels of law enforcement.

“There were times in the past where certain jurisdictions, homicide detectives and parole agents weren’t talking to one another. They’d both be going after the same guy, but they didn’t know it. Those days are ending in the safe streets areas,” said Bill Toohey, Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

Since 2008, Operation Safe Streets has helped law enforcement agencies and organizations, like Mothers of Murdered Sons and Daughters, come together as one to fight against violent crimes.

“All of these things come together, where people are sharing information and they can target the bad guys and they can target the problems that attract bad guys,” Toohey said.

“When you become sensitive and more respectful to us and know that we’re people and individuals like them when they take their uniforms off, we can all get together and talk,” Cain said.

“It’s very important for us, especially from the law enforcement perspective, to support victims of crime,” said Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City State’s Attorney candidate.

The money to fund the program is provided by the state.

Since Operation Safe Streets started, violent crimes in Annapolis and Salisbury have been reduced by 10 percent or more. This year, the program was also extended to Dorchester County.

There is a completely different and separate program operating in Baltimore City called “Baltimore City Safe Streets Baltimore.” It has no connection to the program described.

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