BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Members of the Baltimore City Council called on Police Commissioner Michael Harrison to question his plan to stop crime in the city as gun violence surges in Baltimore.
“The community are looking at us as a joke,” Councilmember Antonio Glover said during the Tuesday night hearing.READ MORE: Maryland Gas Tax Hikes 7 Cents Friday, Gov. Hogan Calls For Another Tax Holiday
His reaction was one of many tense moments that arose inside Baltimore City Hall during the hearing.
“I am absolutely disgusted with the state of public safety in this city,” Councilmember Eric Costello said. “My hope is that we can get some answers tonight and that members of this Ways and Means Committee can walk away from this meeting and reassure our constituents that you have this all under control.”
Harrison pushed back against his critics
“Let me set this record straight right here and right now . . . Our sense of urgency is set to maximum and it stays there and it never turns off,” Harrison said.
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The scathing questions were continuous as councilmembers strived to determine if Harrison was doing enough to make the streets safer.
“We are going after drug dealers and making those cases every single day,” Harrison said.
Councilmember Robert Stokes expressed dissatisfaction with Harrison’s remarks.
“You just gave me statistics,” he said. “I asked for a plan about the open drug market. You told me about arrests. People in the community want to know ‘What is the plan?’ Not how many people were arrested.”
Harrison told city officials that the Baltimore Police Department is facing major challenges like staffing shortages, systemic issues, and low morale.MORE NEWS: Ex-Baltimore Fiscal Chief Pleads Not Guilty To Fraud, Identity Theft Charges
He said he has been constantly reaching out to state and federal agencies for assistance.