BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Just over two weeks into 2020 and Baltimore has already seen 21 homicides in the city.
WJZ caught up with Baltimore Mayor Jack Young at his first U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
He said it’s up to state, federal and local agencies to keep those numbers down.
“99.9 percent of citizens in Baltimore are law-abiding citizens but we have that percent of bad guys making us all prisoners right here in our own homes in our own city, and we have to change that.” Mayor Young said.
Baltimore reached 348 homicides in the city in 2019. With nearly one homicide a day in 2020, former Baltimore Police Deputy Commissioner Jason Johnson said the plan the city has in place isn’t working.
“I think a lot more people would feel comfortable if the plans they have in place were showing positive results and that hasn’t happened quite yet.” said Johnson, who is now the president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund.
Johnson said a new report highlighted in federal court shows a critical shortage of officers in the city.
“Baltimore police staffing is about a thousand fewer officers than it was 10-15 years ago.” Johnson said.
And when it comes to prosecution, Mayor Young said the city is working with the State’s Attorney’s Office to make sure changes are correct- so they can put criminals behind bars.
But, he said it’s going to take a lot more to solve the problem.
“We can’t lock our way up out of this problem, we have to make sure we get to the systemic root of the cause of crime in Baltimore.” Mayor Young.
Mayor Jack Young said he wants the city to invest in better technology so that way officers on the street have the proper tools to do their job.