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Annapolis to start up violence interruption program to combat gun violence

Annapolis violence prevention program.jpeg
Posted at 3:17 PM, Jun 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-21 17:27:07-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Less than two weeks after a mass shooting in Annapolis, which left three people dead, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman recalled the city’s other mass shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper offices, which claimed the lives of five workers there.

“It was after that shooting that the editorial board of the Capital Gazette asked every one of us that was running for office in 2018, we had not been elected yet, every one of us, what we would do to stop, to prevent the next mass shooting, and we failed,” said Pittman.

RELATED: Police: Annapolis mass shooting started over parking for block party

Now, in a bid to prevent gun violence, the county has approved $700,000 to start up a violence interruption and reduction plan similar to Baltimore’s Safe Streets Program credited with reducing shootings by 23 percent.

“It’s not that it’s entirely different than the programs in Baltimore or Safe Streets, but it will be modified, right? Baltimore is a different environment. Geographically, it’s different than Annapolis,” said Acting Health Officer Dr. Tonii Gedin, “We’re talking about a smaller location so what it will look like in Annapolis will be slightly different.”

The program will also address factors such as housing and food needs that can set the stage for such violence.

Next week marks the fifth anniversary of the Capital Gazette shootings, and local leaders will hold a wreath-laying ceremony at the Guardians of the First Amendment Memorial.

They will do so as they also remember the victims of the recent mass shooting, mindful that they must try to prevent such tragedies in the face of a nation, which has less people than it has guns.

“If somebody is frustrated with their neighbor, because they parked 17 inches past the corner of their driveway. If there’s a gun in that house, there’s a bad outcome,” said Pittman, “So we need to reduce the numbers of guns.”