BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A day after Governor Larry Hogan took aim at Baltimore’s violent crime problem, Mayor Catherine Pugh fired back.
City leaders say a lot of the things Gov. Hogan announced Tuesday to fight crime have been happening in Baltimore for some time, like state police and feds serving warrants. They say it’s not a new partnership, just an expanded one.
Wednesday morning, Pugh held a copy of the agenda from a July meeting with Gov. Hogan.
“I just want to be very clear that those discussions were had,” Pugh said.
During his announcement Tuesday, Hogan said Pugh’s initiatives to stop violent crime, such as community centers, summer jobs, and free college tuition, were more long-term plans, but he is seeking immediate action to stop the violence.
“I didn’t consider that to be an immediate, violent crime plan or strategy, and I still don’t,” Gov. Hogan said.
Hogan announced his own emergency action plan to stop the slow bleed on city streets, which includes sending in state police to serve warrants, proposing tougher sentencing laws for repeat criminals, and tearing down vacant homes.
“There are already ongoing partnerships with the Maryland State Police and the Baltimore Police Department,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis. “That’s nothing new. That’s been going on for some time now.”
“There wasn’t anything new announced,” Pugh added.
The mayor trotted out city department heads; everyone from the top gun, to recreation and parks. They all touted violence reduction initiatives ranging from street lighting, to youth programs in high-crime neighborhoods.
“Boxing teaches kids discipline. That is another important way of getting kids off the street,” said Baltimore City Recreation and Parks Director Reginald Moore.
Mayor Pugh says it’s working because the number of homicides and non-fatal shootings have dropped over the last five weeks.
Pugh says she will work with the governor and lawmakers on proposing tougher sentencing laws next session.
Last weekend, Pugh also announced a $5 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to fund things like CitiWatch cameras and street lighting.