I'm Not a Magician

A USA Today article named Baltimore as the country's most dangerous city based on statistics from 2017.


While many other major cities saw a decrease in crime, Baltimore's numbers went up. Baltimore's 341 homicides last year amounted to more than what cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago saw.


So far this year, 32 homicides have been recorded, compared to 47 at this time last year.


"I'm not a magician, but I'm very clear that the direction we're taking is going to get us to where we need to go. Are we satisfied yet? No. Are we trending in the right direction? Yes," Mayor Catherine Pugh said.
 


Pugh and Police Commissioner-designate Darryl De Sousa addressed the issue of crime at the violence reduction initiative morning meeting on Tuesday. The meeting is one of the reasons officials said they've seen an across-the-board decrease in crime since November.
 


They're also embracing technology -- like license plate readers, more CCTV cameras and a new strategic decisions support center -- and using data-driven tools to attack crime. The city is also hoping to expand the Safe Streets program from four to 10 neighborhoods.


"(It's) mission-critical for the community to trust it, and we're going to rebuild it, I'm confident, step by step, street by street, community by community, district by district. We're going to rebuild it so the trust level is 100 percent," De Sousa said.


De Sousa also spoke Tuesday on the C-4 show on WBAL NewsRadio 1090 AM about the USA Today article, calling it "alarming." But he said that since he took over the Police Department last month, he's confident in the people and systems being put in place, although change is going to take some time.
 


"It can't happen quick enough, and I'm asking the entire citizens of Baltimore to be patient, because there is going to be a 21st century policing department here in Baltimore City," De Sousa said.


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