BALTIMORE (WJZ) — At the corner of Gusryan and Boston Street, City Councilman Zeke Cohen joined Police Commissioner Michael Harrison in the fight to turn Baltimore into a trauma-responsive city.
“Where we embrace our young people, we prevent trauma from occurring,” Cohen said. “We all across the city respond to it.”
The push comes just two days after a 32-year-old was stabbed on Anglesea Street in front of his 4-year-old son.
“The child had blood on his shoes, on his hands, all over his clothing from just having witnessed his father get stabbed to death,” Cohen said.
He later died at the hospital.
“We know that this young man has an extremely hard road ahead of him,” Cohen said. “He is much more likely to himself be a victim of violence or a perpetrator of violence. He is likely to have long term health impacts for the rest of his life.”
Harrison says it’s violent incidents that lead to life-long issues of trauma, and the trauma-responsive care act will aim to prevent and respond to those suffering across the city.
“We want to make sure we are committed and trained,” Harrison said. “And how to incorporate all of the resources we have at our disposal that we put them in the hands of the people who need them the most and those are the people who survive and witness these horrific events.”
The new legislation would create a task force to train city agencies on how to recognize symptoms of trauma and respond.
“We cannot alone police our way out of the problems,” Cohen said. “We have to prevent, we have to respond and we have to heal.”
Neighbors say the violence is not a new problem, but right now, they need a new solution.
“I’m glad they’re doing something like that. They need more of that in Baltimore without a doubt,” Baltimore resident Jerry Rybak said.
Cohen says that officials are still working to come up with a cost for this legislation and to finalize a plan.