BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As January comes to a close, the Baltimore police commissioner and mayor are trying to reassure people they are working to hard to stop the crime in the city.
Commissioner Michael Harrison said at a press conference Monday that more than a dozen people have been arrested for murders so far in 2020, and 157 guns have been taken off the streets, but added there is still a sense that it isn’t enough.
Around the same time the press conference was underway, there was a shooting in Baltimore in the 2000 block of Ashton Street. Three people were shot and taken to the hospital, including a 15-year-old boy.
It’s those types of brazen crimes the department is trying to target.
Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said he empathizes with the city’s crime victims and their families and that even his own family hasn’t escaped the violence unscathed.
“Just recently I had another little cousin that was killed, last week. We take this seriously,” Young said.
The department released images of some of the 13 people arrested since January 1 in connection to homicides and people with outstanding warrants who are now in custody.
“This weekend alone, the warrant apprehension task force served 18 warrants with 10 arrests and seven clearances,” Commissioner Harrison said.
Helping to solve those crimes are 14 new investigators hired by the department within the past six months.
“Just know that when bad actors commit acts of violence, we will find you and we will hold you accountable,” he added.
The department in particular has its eyes on those repeatedly committing violent acts in the city.
“We must continue to build on this momentum as we continue to be laser-focused in apprehending and holding repeat violent offenders accountable,” Harrison said.
The commissioner also discussed the city’s collaboration with federal officials to try to get some help to curb crime, and even said they’ve seen an increase in tips from citizens.
All of that is “a big job,” city resident Ken Lotz said.
“Baltimore is out of control right now,” he said.
Despite that, Lotz said he hasn’t seen the violence firsthand.
“I feel kind of safe. I haven’t experienced any kind of gunplay here on the streets,” he said.