Pugh announces crime plan update, free community college

Posted at 10:13 AM, Aug 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 07:53:58-04

It is called a violence reduction update.

Mayor Catherine Pugh says her 20 page color print out distributed on Wednesday is a reflection of her original comprehensive crime plan but with some changes; changes tailored to take on the persistent and acute level of violence currently plaguing Baltimore.

"This is urgent,” Pugh said, “I can't say it any louder and again, I can't say it more often. This is urgent." 

Much of the plan is what you have heard before.

There is a focus on recruiting new officers, better training and unfreezing police positions to swell the ranks.

Her administration is continuing the fight against violent repeat offenders and even enhancing funding for alternative programs like the Health Department’s Safe Streets.

But the plan also calls for improving health initiatives and engaging youth including an investment in free college education.

By 2018, the mayor hopes to provide a free community college education for any city high school senior who wants it.

It is a move signaling a crime reduction plan she says she is enacting from all sides of the issue.

"We can drive down violent crime in this city, but the police department having the right tools, the community having faith in their police department and neighborhoods working together will make the difference in how we move our city forward," Pugh said.

The mayor prefaced her crime plan update with announcing two key appointments.

Kendra Parlock will be the new director of Citi-stat and will be in charge of “re-inventing” that department.

Also, former chief of staff to Commissioner Kevin Davis, Drew Vetter will now be the director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice.

Undertaking a national search for that role, Mayor Pugh said Vetter was under her nose the whole time.

Commissioner Davis says these appointments are no small part of a holistic plan he hopes recruits and syncs several different city agencies into the crime fight.

"That is meat and potatoes right there. I have now have a director in the office of criminal justice, I know have someone running my city stat. So let's all get back in the huddle with these two people to quarter back us through and let's get to a better place," Davis said.

Read the report and view details of the Violence Reduction Update here