BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Taking it out of City Hall and onto the street. That’s what Baltimore’s mayor and top cop did Tuesday to sell an expanded crime crackdown.
Alex DeMetrick reports that in order for the plan to work, police will have to win over neighborhoods that don’t always trusts in the cops.
The location was near the remains of a street corner memorial.
“There was a young man that was murdered right there on that spot,” said Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.
But police that swarmed it Tuesday were on a mission from City Hall that brought its own heat to the street in a neighborhood nicknamed CHM, for Cold Spring, Homestead and Lake Montebello.
CHM is one of four enforcement zones where the focus is on “violent repeat offenders, parolees, probationers, those recidivists that impact a region,” Batts said.
It’s a strategy the mayor and her police commissioner are expanding to 17 enforcement zones.
But police admit to make the arrests that make a difference will take the community’s help, meaning tips and information.
“When they come off of their porches and they get engaged, that’s going to be the success for us as a city,” Batts said.
But not many were coming off those porches at Tuesday’s event.
Some don’t trust police after what they’ve seen.
“Just get you and grab you and harass you. Who gonna trust that police? Where’s the partnership? It went out the window before it ever got started,” said Lee Blount, CHM resident.
“What are we supposed to do? Just wash our hands and say ‘Let it be what it is?’ I’m gonna continue to fight,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
“That starts with the police department engaging a communities such as ours in a proper, respectful manner,” said Mark Washington, executive director CHM Community Association.
Washington says he’s starting to see police making an effort.
“I wish I could say I saw more of it, but a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step,” Washington said.
Police refused to say where in the city the expanded crime zones are being established in order to keep criminals from being tipped off in advance.
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