BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s acting police commissioner told lawmakers more officers and fewer illegal guns are what he’d like to see on city streets to put an end to the record-breaking violence.
Acting commissioner Darryl De Sousa says expect to see more police patrolling city streets. But that will not be the only answer to Baltimore’s problem with violent crime.
“I don’t think that we can arrest our way — and I say this respectfully — out of the issues,” De Sousa said.
Baltimore’s acting top cop is taking new aim at an old problem, telling Maryland delegates Friday that he wants more badges and fewer guns on the streets.
“I truly believe that there’s way too many guns on the streets at this point,” De Sousa said. “I believe that we have to find very innovative and creative ways to get those guns off the streets.”
He’s the latest in a long line of law enforcement and political leaders to try and stop the slow bleed.
Gov. Larry Hogan, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, former police commissioner Kevin Davis, and now De Sousa — all have rolled out their own crime plans in recent months.
Still, 2017 ended with 343 murders in the city, and the body count this year is already at 26.
No neighborhood is untouched. Along with a soaring death toll, De Sousa inherited a violence-reduction initiative aimed at five high crime areas in the city. On Friday, he told lawmakers he plans to add two more violence-reduction initiative zones to the list.
Those who live in the danger hot spots that are already a high priority for police say it will take more than blue uniforms to stall the citywide massacre.
[Reporter: Have you yourself seen anything change out here on the streets, on sidewalks?]
“No. Uh-uh,” says Vanessa Pleasant of west Baltimore.” I don’t think that’s going to help, I don’t think so. People still got guns and they’re still going to have them.”
De Sousa also addressed police corruption saying, “It’s very few apples that spoil the entire barrel.”
Pugh also spoke Friday, telling lawmakers Baltimore will not be defined by violence.