BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Two of Baltimore City’s top non-profit organizations teamed up to help end a streak of brutal attacks, reportedly being carried out by packs of teens around the City.
Concerns of wild and out-of-control teens roaming around Baltimore City have been on the rise. It follows a series of brutal attacks on people in and around the Inner Harbor.
To alleviate some of the fears, a group of teens are walking the Inner Harbor in easily identifiable blue shirts.
It’s called the Peace Ambassador Program.
The Peace Ambassadors range from ages 14 to 17. They are working to not only change public perception but also help stop trouble before it starts.
Laurie Schwartz is the president of one of two non-profit organizations supporting the program.
“They have kinda of an early warning system that helps them identify when there might be some youth who are looking for mischief or meeting up with others to make some mischief,” Schwartz said.
In light of recent attacks around the Inner Harbor and surrounding region locals and visitors are responding positively to the Peace Ambassador Program.
“I love the shirts. They just look like they’re walking around and blend in with us,” Dellareese Jackson said.
“I think it’s a good idea, keep people I guess more accountable for what their up to and I think it helps, I think having people of a similar age range,” Jenna Smith of Tennessee said.
Kirby Fowler is the president of Downtown Partnership, the second organization keeping the program alive.
Fowler says outside of the crime watch, the teens are also meant to help younger crowds feel welcomed downtown by helping establish good rapports with businesses and police.
“If they feel welcome there might be less negative response to certain things and you might be able to keep the peace a little more,” he said.
Officials hope to continue growing the program outside the Inner Harbor.
There are about 10 youth ambassadors. Officials estimate during their shifts they interact with as many as 40 other teens around the area.
Police have doubled units in the region and also announced the launch of a new decoy unit in response to all the recent teen attacks.