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Annapolis residents want the city to do more to curb gun violence

Posted at 11:19 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 23:26:20-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Emotions were running high at a public meeting at the Eastport Fire station in Annapolis where dozens of people voiced their frustrations to city leaders about a recent spike in gun violence.

"We are here not to get updates," one man said. "We are here to figure out how you are going to solve a problem."

"We need you fixing how bad things are," said Jessica Pachlar. "I can't stand here in do this anymore."

In one week, there were four shootings in Annapolis. Three of them happened on Madison Street in just two days at the Harbor House, an apartment community managed by the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA).

There was only one person injured in the four shootings. Annapolis Police say the suspect in two of those shootings is in custody. Investigators now are not only looking for the suspect in the third shooting on Madison, but also another one that happened on Forest Drive and Tyler Avenue.

Sunday, a car with three people, including a four-year-old inside, was caught in the middle of gunfire. No injuries, but yet another example why many people are concerned.

Jessica Pachlar is one of dozens of people who attended a public meeting at the Eastport Fire station. She says more needs to be done to address crime. Pachlar wants a proactive approach not reactive--suggesting beat cops and substations.

"When police are visibly in the community more often here's less crime."

Harold Lloyd says it's going to take more than police to address crime.

"We can't keep pointing the fingers at the police," said Lloyd.

He believes education and the lack of opportunity are issues that need to be fixed too.

"It's more than just one problem. It's multiple problems."

Annapolis Police Chief Ed Jackson acknowledges people's concerns, but adds his department is working hard to address crime. He says violent crime was down in 2019 versus 2018. Chief Jackson says they should get ShotSpotter next month--a piece of technology that detects gun shots to help police respond to shootings faster.

"That's going to help us get to a location in real time," he said. "It's going to be safe for our officers. They are going to know exactly where it's coming from."

Chief Jackson says that's one many things the police department is doing to fight crime. Meanwhile, Pachlar says after listening to city leaders, she says she is cautiously optimistic things will done.

"I'm hoping for some immediate reaction," she said. "And some immediate progress from our leaders."