BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Mayor Brandon Scott sent a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday formally inviting him to come to Baltimore and see the progress being made to reduce violence in the city.
As of June 3, gun seizures are up 11%, gun seizures related to violent crimes are up 19%, and the homicide clearance rate is up 3.7%, the mayor wrote.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Tornado Warning Issued For Anne Arundel County
During a February meeting in Annapolis, Scott said, the govenor “expressed surprise” at some of the improving metrics.
“That is why I very much welcome your request for additional information,” he wrote. “As such, I would again invite you to come to Baltimore and spend some time with me to gain insight and a better understanding of how we are working day in and day out to confront violent crime, address trauma, and cure the disease of gun violence under my Administration.”
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) June 3, 2022
Scott’s letter comes a week after Hogan sent one of his own asking for a progress report on the mayor’s crime plan, including “an accounting of how much state funds allocated for law enforcement have and will be spent, and details on BPD’s progress toward closing warrants for violent offenders.”
The governor pointed to some members of the Baltimore City Council who are concerned there’s “a complete and utter lack of progress” in implementing the plan.
In response, Scott called the letter a publicity stunt.READ MORE: State Reveals New Home Loan Products To Help Marylanders Buy New Homes
“When you want to have a conversation as a man with another man, you do that when you see that man, especially when you’re spending essentially the whole day together at Preakness on a Saturday,” Scott said in a statement.
He offered more details in Friday’s response, saying the rate of homicides and non-fatal shootings has slowed since January. As of Thursday, the number of murders and non-fatal shootings is up 2% and 6%, respectively, compared to 2021.
“Still far too much violence but we must realize the immediate reductions we are seeing,” the mayor wrote. “To not acknowledge them would be disrespectful to the work of our police officers, detectives, violence interrupters and community members who are working every day to reduce violence in our streets. However, it is clear that we have much more work to do.”
The mayor also touted several programs geared toward community policing and violence interruption, such as the Group Violence Reduction Strategy and Community Violence Intervention Collaborative.
The city has never refused help from the Maryland State Police, he wrote, and would accept additional support from the agency as well as the law enforcement arms of the Maryland Transportation Authority and Maryland Transit Administration.
He also asked for quicker notifications of parole and probation violations and more state law enforcement officers to participate in the city’s Warrant Apprehension Task Force.MORE NEWS: Pasadena Woman, 63, Dies After Hit-And-Run Boating Crash On Magothy River