ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced several programs to target violent crime and gangs in Baltimore City.
Hogan announced Tuesday that he will open a Violent Crime Joint Operations Center in Baltimore City.
This center will house a strikeforce of 200 law enforcement personnel from various federal, state and local agencies. The group will target violent crime, gangs and repeat offenders.
Seven different federal, state and local agencies from the DES, ATF, Baltimore Police, Homeland Security, FBI, U.S. Marshall and the Maryland State Police will join forces to combat city crime.
Hogan also announced that he would be helping the city police hire and recruit more officers with additional state funding to help attract people to join the BPD.
Project Exile, a federal program to target repeart offenders, will also be expanded with additional state funding. This would mean repeat offenders would be tried in federal courts under federal law in hopes to keeping them off the streets.
According to Baltimore Police, 60 percent of the people who violent gun laws are not given a significant amount of time in jail and repeat crime over and over again.
Hogan added that part of his plan is to create a two-pronged attack, beginning with working toward processing gun crime as federal gun crime in federal courts, and also to possibly change the state law for mandatory minimums on gun crimes.
“The federal mandatory sentences are ten years, if we can process them on federal gun crimes and federal courts, we can put them in jail rather than a slap on the wrist with Baltimore City judges and without mandatory sentences with prosecutions here in the city,” Hogan said. “They are undermanned, not enough prosecutors to handle all these cases, and we ask them, ‘What, how could they do more of them,’ and they said they need more manpower, so we’re paying for them. That was a request from U.S. Attorney.”
This two-pronged attack he cites would work toward repeat gun crime offenders in the state of Maryland.
“But in addition to that, and we’re gonna cross-designate some prosecutors here in the city so they can prosecute under federal law, but in addition to that- we’re trying to change the state law so our mandatory sentences match federal law so that we can prosecute them here under Maryland law and get the exact same ten-year mandatory minimum for repeat gun crimes,” Hogan added.