By Jonathan McCall

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Baltimore’s top cop took to the streets in an effort to engage the community, as he calls for more community policing.

Commissioner Darryl De Souza has made community policing a priority, while a group of men are hoping to bridge the gap between police and the public.

With nearly a dozens murders in just the first week of April, Baltimore police continue to try and find solutions to tackling growing crime.

“I’m very much concerned about April. Too many at the beginning of the month,” De Sousa said.

A West Baltimore community is now striking up the chance to close the gap between the department and the community.

“We have a new direction. We have challenges. Everybody knows that Baltimore City has challenges and we want to start off on the right foot,” said Michael Seay of Mt. Pisgus CME Church.

With every step, men at Mount Pisgus CME Church are hoping to reclaim and rebuild their village.

“I honestly believe that it does take a village, and the question is; did the village ever leave?” De Souza said.

“It’s going to take part with the ministerial staff and parishioners throughout the city. It’s going to take charge with the police department,” Seay said.

With relations often strained between the public and police, De Souza said more efforts like this and more men to step up, could help make the difference.

“They need somebody to talk to when they’re thinking about doing something they shouldn’t be or thinking about something that’s going to get them in trouble,” De Sousa added.

So far, 66 homicides have been reported in Baltimore.

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