Wednesday is the first of at least six community feedback session for Baltimore City's Group Violence Reduction Strategy, which is set to launch before the end of the year.
Mayor Brandon Scott tweeted about this meeting on Tuesday evening.
GVRS was first announced nearly three months ago as part of the Mayor's Crime Prevention Plan. This strategy shifts the primary responsibility for violence prevention from law enforcement to community based organizations, really engaging those directly impacted by gun violence in the city.
GVRS focuses on a group effort by bringing together police, business owners and community leaders, as well as support and outreach providers to help reduce serious violent crimes.
This approach has been implemented before, by two different mayors. We spoke with a former City detective who questions trying this effort again.
"Why would we want to use that same recipe? If it didn't work 20, 30 years ago and things have gotten really more complex and complicated and times were a little more simpler... If those tactics did not work then, why would they work today in a more complex environment?" Debbie Ramsey added, "we've always had police at the table. We've always had representatives from the state's attorney's office at the table. We've always had organizations that are hand-picked at the table. Where has that gotten us?"
The Mayor's office stressed when this strategy has been successful in the US, it's resulted in 30-60 percent reduction in murders.
"In a city as big as Baltimore, with out levels of violence... it will take time but city's have done this and stuck with it," said Mayor Brandon Scott. He added, "we cannot short change our residents, especially our young people."
The first community feedback session is happening Wednesday, October 20 from 6pm - 9pm at the Robert C. Marshall Recreational Center, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave, Baltimore, MD 21217.
If you plan on attending you're asked to RSVP by calling (443) 901-8355.
The other community feedback session dates and locations are listed here:
October 21, 6pm - 9pm
Greenmount Recreational Center, 2304 Greenmount Ave, Baltimore, MD 21218
October 27, 6pm - 9pm
November 14, 1pm - 4pm
Cahill Recreational Center, 4001 Clifton Ave, Baltimore, MD 21216
November 18, 6pm - 9pm
Morrell Park Recreational Center, 2651 Tolley St, Baltimore, MD 21230
November 20, 1pm - 4pm
Virtual Session, link will be provided to RSVPs.