BALTIMORE — Even after all the talk of a five-year plan including diversion programs, intelligence and data-led community policing and micro-zones, there were three murders in Baltimore overnight.
There was a double homicide just outside Pimlico's gates last night at 8:30, and then another man was murdered in the 800 block of North Milton in East Baltimore, squarely within one of those new micro-zones.
It’s evidence of the enormity of the problem before us, Senator Bill Ferguson says, but he likes the course Commissioner Michael Harrison has charted.
"We held back $14 million for this reason; now the plan has come though. I feel very good about it. Now it's gotta get done," Ferguson said.
Ferguson likes what he sees in this plan and the cooperation up on that podium yesterday.
He is inclined to vote to finally release those millions of dollars in order to help implement the BPD plan quickly.
"There is just this level of anger and frustration of just malaise and tolerance of the unacceptable. Something has to give; I think this gives us a road map...now there has to be urgent implementation," Ferguson said.
Residents hope so too.
Jerome Wade is a contractor and just bought and is now rehabbing a house on North Port Street.
His property it is in a so-called micro-zone and just one block over from last night's murder.
He welcomes the proposed increased police attention and community interaction within his few blocks of East Baltimore.
"Yes. I do feel like the officers need to do more community policing,” Wade said. “I'd like to see them on foot, on bicycles, get out and talk to the people. Help understand the people, help the people understand them, and we are all working together in this process."
And that is exactly what state lawmakers are going to want to see now as well, from plans to practice.
"It's not a grand new idea. It's not a grand new plan. It's not a grand new funding stream," Ferguson said. "It is about executing effectively every single day."