BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new campaign is underway in Baltimore, letting victims and witnesses of crime know that they are safe to come forward.
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Thursday that new billboards and television commercials will be on the way to encourage victims and witnesses to testify in court.
“We recognize in order to counteract what has become a cultural norm of stop snitching mentality, we must continue to reallocate our resources to ensure protection and support of victims and witness of crime,” Mosby said.
Mosby said that the theme of the campaign is to remind people that they are not only.
“My commitment is to ensure victims and witnesses of crime receive support they need,” Mosby said.
Standing beside Mosby during Thursday’s announcement was Marlin Smith, whose son was killed in July of 2017, and Tom Vaise, whose brother died four years ago.
Both Smith and Vaise were offered help and protection during their times of tragedy.
“I received a lot of friendship and help from the people, the professionals here in court, and they’ve helped me a lot and sat with me during the trial,” Vaise said.
Last year alone, prosecutors dismissed more than one-third of cases because witnesses did not show up to court.
“It’s outrageous when an 83-year-old woman and senior can be shot in the streets, and nobody in broad daylight, nobody wants to come forward,” Mosby said.
Mosby’s campaign will add more staff members and resources, relocations services and online apps, for families to track case information.
“We can not get bad guys off the street if the community does not come forward,” Mosby said.
Mosby also announced that Gov. Larry Hogan put $2.3 million into the state’s budget that she can use for witness relocation.