BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore residents are invited to share their feedback on the city’s efforts to rein in violent crime during a series of upcoming meetings.

Starting on Wednesday, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety, the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Baltimore Police Department will host several meetings to discuss the city’s violence reduction strategy, the mayor’s office said Tuesday.

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Members of the public are invited to join these discussions and weigh in with their input on what the city can do to get violent crime under control.

Mayor Brandon Scott said the sessions are designed to give the public a say in how the city deals with violent crime, providing feedback that will help shape the city’s strategy.

“(Gun Violence Reduction Strategy) has failed before when it lacked community input. We can not afford to have it fail again,” Scott said in part. “I urge everyone to participate. It’s imperative that Baltimore City owns this strategy and is fully invested in its success.”

The meetings come less than a week after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan publicly criticized city officials over their handling of Baltimore’s violent crime problem.

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Gun Violence Reduction Strategy, or GVRS, is a strategy that involves forming groups of community stakeholders to develop long-term tactics to curb violence. According to the city, it has led to 30- 60-percent reductions in homicides in other metro areas.

Shantay Jackson, director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety, said one thing is clear: public safety cannot be achieved through arrests and prosecutions alone.

“We recognize the harm that has been done to our communities,” Jackson said. “It is vital that we center our residents in these conversations to ensure that we develop trauma-informed practices.”

The first meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Robert C. Marshall Recreational Center.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Oct. 20, 6-9 p.m., Robert C. Marshall Recreational Center, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave., Baltimore
  • Oct. 21, 6-9 p.m., Greenmount Recreational Center, 2304 Greenmount Ave., Baltimore
  • Oct. 27, 6-9 p.m., location to be determined
  • Nov. 14, 1-4 p.m., Cahill Recreational Center, 4001 Cliffton Ave., Baltimore
  • Nov. 18, 6-9 p.m., Morrell Park Recreational Center, 2651 Tolley St., Baltimore
  • Nov. 20, 1-4 p.m., Virtual Meeting
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Those planning to attend these meetings in person are asked to RSVP by calling 43-901-8355. To learn more, visit the city’s website.

CBS Baltimore Staff