BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Greater Baltimore Urban League said it will not allow the city’s police department to use their building to monitor crime in a west Baltimore neighborhood.

Tiffany Majors, the group’s president and CEO, said councilman Eric Costello approached her with a request to allow police to use their building to keep an eye on criminal activity in the Seton Hill neighborhood.

That request was denied.

“My calling is to be a servant to the community and not to house undercover surveillance, that’s not what we do,” she said.

In a statement, Costello said in part he’s gotten dozens of complaints about “rampant drug dealing” in the area.

“After discussing this matter with BPD, I understood they needed a surveillance location to help curb this activity, so I made some calls to try to help get some relief for my constituents,” Costello said in the statement.

One area mother and son, who did not want their faces shown, said they wanted to see something done to address the crime.

“I don’t know what to say about that, I just feel like if they can stop what’s going on, stop it,” the son told WJZ.

Majors said the organization has a good relationship with police and that will continue.

“I don’t have a problem with working with the police department. I would like to work with the police department, I would like to work with any official that is working in Baltimore city to ensure that there is equity and support for under-served communities,” she said.

The police department did not respond to requests for comment for this story, but it’s not out of the ordinary for companies to work with police to stop crime. One such example is the CitiWatch Community Partnership camera system, which allows police to view footage from privately-owned surveillance systems in the event of a crime.

On the other side, the perception that an organization is working with the department could erode trust in the community.

Ava-joye Burnett

Comments