BALTIMORE (WJZ) — This weekend marked a milestone for the City of Baltimore as all 44 recreational centers opened their doors on a Saturday for the first time since the 1970s.

This is all part of a holistic plan to fight crime in Baltimore. It is a crimefighting strategy that Baltimore communities welcome.

“What makes it so fun is because we have basketball, we have a gym, we have computer labs that I like to play on,” Jaden Monroe said. “We have a field, we have all the stuff up here that we could do.”

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Mayor Jack Young announced plans to expand rec center hours earlier this year.

“Expanding hours was something that used to happen when I was young,” Mayor Young said. “Our rec centers were open every Saturday and used to stay open until 9 p.m.”

Officials hope that opening the centers will benefit all age groups.

“It’s better because we’re in a rough area and the community we’re in is a little rough, but sometimes people need the actual motivation and stuff,” Kevin Gross said. “This is a place where you are welcome and people here at this center are very nice. They help you out.”

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