Crime plans and ceasefires take aim at Baltimore's violence

Posted at 5:14 PM, Aug 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 07:02:10-04

Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott released a crime plan late yesterday, a near 40 page document detailing a more holistic approach to crime in the city.

"We just believe that it is time as we said in the plan that the city starts to look beyond policing to resolve the issues of the disease of gun violence in our city and we are offering these up as solutions, a partnership that we hope to get the mayor to talk to us about implementing," Scott said.

The councilman wants to implement more preventative ideas like reducing chronic absenteeism in schools and increasing responsible fatherhood.

His plan also features ideas like doubling down on violence reduction programs like Safe Streets, blight elimination and support for the police department and its community policing model.

"For the 33 years that I have been alive we have only looked at violence through the lens of policing,” Scott said, “That has to stop because it hasn't worked, it is clear that it hasn't worked. With the exception for a few years that has not worked for the city of Baltimore and we have to change our thinking and change the way we operate." 

Thursday Mayor Catherine Pugh, who has been criticized by Scott and others for not having a plan, reacted to the councilman's plan saying she is sure there are some good ideas but she too is creating a holistic approach she can implement.

"You just can't write a plan,” Pugh said. “You have to be able to implement it and on top of that you have to be able to fund it and I think that is the relationship that I have with the governor and with our federal partners that are in fact providing some services for the city."

But whatever plan trickles down from city hall Erricka Bridgeford hopes it meets with what she knows is bubbling up from the streets.

Bridgeford is the organizer of Baltimore Ceasefire, a campaign to stop killing from this Friday to Sunday.

It is a message that since May, has spread through neighborhoods from east to west.

"Only 12-15 people came to the first meeting in May…Now it's like hundreds and hundreds of people all over the city who are saying this is something we are going to be doing," Bridgeford said.

The posters are everywhere.

Bridgeford knows someone may very well get killed in Baltimore this weekend, but that doesn't mean it would be a failure.

"This one thing can't cure all of that. What it has done is help people understand that they actually have a choice and they have power and there is actually something they can do about this heart breaking situation that we see in our city."

Ceasefire begins  tomorrow and lasts through Sunday. Bridgeford hopes to continue on the success of her messaging to develop a year long effort.

To read the full crime plan by Councilman Brandon Scott click here