BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore has gone 11 days without a homicide – a murder-free milestone that hasn’t been seen in years.
Baltimoreans are cautiously taking in the news of the 11-day streak as many have become accustomed to a vicious, violent cycle.
In August 2011, October 2013 and March 2014, the city went 10 days without a murder — and eight days in November 2014. But none of those top the current stretch.
“We’re not out the woods, we have a lot of work to do. But it means to me that what we have in place is now starting to work,” Daphne Alston of Mothers of Murdered Sons and Daughters United Inc.
The city’s police department says it’s more aggressive with stopping criminals, and since December, they’ve arrested more than 300 people for warrant and gun violations. The department says there is also an increased focus on police visibility. All 46 cadets who recently graduated from the academy are on foot patrol.
“This is everyone collectively getting together to go after those who are trying to harm people in our city,” says Baltimore City Police spokesperson T.J. Smith.
Mayor Catherine Pugh named a new commissioner and levied more responsibilities on department heads.
“Who should take credit? Everybody. Ceasfire, police department, community groups, organizations,” Pugh said.
For a city that averaged nearly a murder a day in 2017, going 11 days straight without a homicide is quite an accomplishment for many.
“To be at 11 days without murder it’s like ‘What?'” says Erricka Bridgedford of Baltimore Cease Fire.
Bridgeford helped to organize Baltimore cease fire weekends. She’s now a witness to the longest homicide free streak in recent years.
“We bury too many people. We have too many faces of people on our t-shirts, and this just means that people haven’t been dying in vain,” she said.
Even though there have been no homicides in nearly two weeks, Bridgeford wants people to also focus on the non-fatal crimes that are taking place in the city.