BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As Baltimore’s crime rate continues to rise, the city’s leaders and state lawmakers held a meeting to discuss ways to curb it.

“Gun violence is a public health issue but we will address it in every way that we can,” said Mayor Brandon Scott.

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A meeting tackling gun violence at city hall.

“Baltimore’s most persistent issue requires a collaborate effort, data-driven approach and is each and every one of our responsibility to play our part,” said Mayor Scott.

Mayor Brandon Scott and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison sat down with members of the Maryland Congressional Delegation.

“You all are some of our biggest partners,” added Scott.

“Our strong desire is to help you bring down the violence in Baltimore. We know it’s not an easy situation but the current level of violence is unacceptable,” said Sen. Ben Cardin, Maryland’s 3rd District.

The group discussed what they called a comprehensive strategy including ATF support in the city, gun prevention and community-engaged programs.

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“The whole idea of community-based initiatives and programs neighborhood grassroots level programs to help address these issues,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Maryland’s 8th District.

“The federal delegation is committed to working with the mayor to provide support and help,” Cardin added.

As the city sees a rise in crime, police report 182 homicides so far this year — up from 10 last year. There have been 367 non-fatal shootings, 44 more than 2020.

“The violent crime issue in Baltimore needs to change,” said Cardin.

The meeting comes after Mayor Brandon Scott met with President Joe Biden last month at the White House to outline a five-point plan to reduce gun violence in cities across the country.

 

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Annie Rose Ramos