BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison Wednesday announced the arrests of 118 people after a fugitive warrant roundup.
Harrison said with Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s blessing, he initiated the city-wide roundup three weeks ago.
During the first two weeks of December, city police officers, along with the warrant apprehension task force, coordinated a warrant initiative with several neighboring police departments, state police, the FBI and marshals to pick up individuals wanted for violent crimes in the city.
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The fugitives were arrested for attempted murder, robbery, domestic violence, rape, handgun violations and violations of parole and a number of other violations.
During this operation, police also confiscated four handguns and made three additional arrests.
Harrison thanked his fellow law enforcement agencies for their help with the operation.
“I have no doubt that working together we’ll make Baltimore a safer city,” he said. “Initiatives like this one are a major step in that direction.”
Young thanked the dedicated police officers for their efforts and had a message for the criminals, too.
“To the criminals committing violence on our streets, I have a simple message for you: we’re coming after you, and we won’t stop until you are behind bars,” Young said.
The mayor said taking shooters off the streets is his number one priority. Harrison, meanwhile, pushed back against notions his department doesn’t have a sense of urgency to solve its crime problems.
“That assertion is absolutely baseless and couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said.
Young also addressed the violence, saying he “feels it personally.”
“I had three of my nephews gunned down in the city of Baltimore, there’s no closure for my family,” he said. “So I understand what these folks — I know how they feel first hand. I need closure too. My sisters need closure. So we’re adamant about getting these people off the streets.”
But Young said officials need help — they need the community to help.
“I can’t do it alone, the council can’t do it alone, the commissioner can’t do it alone — but together with the community and with our partners, we can reduce the crime in Baltimore city,” Young said.
The announcement comes after a day of violence in which 10 people were shot on Tuesday. Three of those victims died.
Another double shooting happened Wednesday morning.
In total, 330 people have now been killed in the city this year. One of the most recent victims was Sean Davis, who was killed on Tuesday. He had been planning a toy drive for kids left fatherless by homicide.
A day after his murder, toys piled up at a drop-off just feet from where his blood stained the ground.
Harrison said although homicide numbers have increased year-over-year, the crime plan is working. Along with the operations and deployment of resources to reduce crime, they have to deal with “why those criminals made those decisions in the very first place,” he said.
The numbers will go down “when you change them and change their minds about why they do that,” Harrison said.
“That comes with tough consequences and changing the culture,” he added. “It’s not just deployment of strategy it’s the culture of violence we’re working to change.”