BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh met Monday to discuss one of Baltimore’s most pressing issues: violent crime.
The high profile, high stakes meeting at the Maryland State House lasted less than an hour.
Mayor Pugh spoke after their meeting, and said she asked the governor for help from various state agencies and increased technology to help combat violent crime.
“I called the meeting with the governor, who always answers my call, and said I’d like you to know where we are, and how we can move forward in violence reduction,” Pugh said.
Almost daily, Baltimore police post pictures of guns they’ve taken off the streets, but the shootings and killings have skyrocketed, and in hard-hit west Baltimore, people are fed up.
“It is ridiculous,” said one resident. “A guy was like running through my neighborhood the other night with a gun in his hand.”
More than 450 people have been shot since the beginning of the year, making Baltimore one of the nation’s most violent cities.
Governor Hogan has pushed back against the tougher gun laws the mayor wants, but called on judges to issue tougher sentences. He also says he doesn’t see the need to throw more money at the problem.
Mayor Pugh wants better partnerships with state agencies, like parole and probation, to keep tabs on offenders.
She also promoted the expansion of Shot Spot, a technology that detects gunfire, then alerts police.
“It’s the technology, it is the strategy. It’s the focus on the areas where violence is at its highest,” Pugh said.
Shareese N. Churchill, with Governor Hogan’s Office released the following statement:
“Governor Hogan and Mayor Pugh had a very informative, frank, and productive discussion [Monday] about Baltimore City’s serious crime and homicide rate. The administration will continue supporting and working with the Mayor, local law enforcement, and all city leadership to combat this crisis and help ensure the safety and well-being of city residents.”
“So we’re looking forward to continuing to meet. Uh, we will be meeting, um, probably shortly after he has an opportunity to digest all the information that I brought to him, and it was a very good meeting,” Pugh said.
Hogan did call the situation in Baltimore a crisis, and says he will continue working with the mayor and city government.