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Baltimore city leaders share improving crime data, citizens weigh in

Posted at 5:40 PM, Dec 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-21 17:40:38-05

BALITMORE — New data suggests Baltimore police are making progress in the city's fight on crime; but, as that data rolls in, Baltimore's murder rate is rising.

On Wednesday, around 2:45 p.m., a man was shot and killed on South Howard Street near the Light rail stop.

It's the 323rd homicide investigation in Baltimore this year.

New data says more arrests are being made to crack down on crime.

Gun seizures in the city are up 13 percent and arrests are up 19 percent.

They're stats are showing progress by those leading Baltimore's push for public safety; but, those stats don't mean a thing for folks like Andre Brown.

"You hear about a lot of murders still happen and it's like ain't nobody getting no passes. It happens to women, it happens to kids and it's like a regular city to live in," said Brown.

More than 300 lives were claimed by violence this year so far and 678 people were injured in shootings.

"I’ll be the first to admit the frustration with Baltimoreans, are my frustrations," said Mayor Brandon Scott.

It's a frustration expressed by Mayor Scott and a concern for those living in the city like L'rae Chester.

"Doing simple things like walking around the neighborhood, walking my dog and stuff like that I don't feel really safe," Chester told us.

On BPD's end, arrests themselves city-wide are up 10 percent, the first increase year-over-year since 2014.

"Considering that we’ve taken more guns and made more gun arrests this year than we did in 2014 when we had 600 more officers shows me the level of effort being made into being proactive," said BPD Commissioner Michael Harrison.

The director of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement says that's not the only important metric.

"We should not just be talking about the arrests that we’re making but be more conscious of the narrative that we pour into our city," said Shauntay Jackson, Director of MONSE.

Sharing the city's group violence reduction strategy has led to a 38 percent decrease in homicides and nonfatal shootings as of Wednesday.

Mayor Scott hopes new partners in the governor's and state's attorney office put some of the missing pieces of the puzzle in place.

"When you have the police department making more arrests for guns, gun violence, and carjackings consistently then the those same individuals being rearrested for the same thing, I’m not a judge or prosecutor those a part of the system we have to evaluate at a deeper level too," Scott explained.

Citizens of Baltimore like Andre Brown note an easily overlooked absence in the equation.

"I feel like it really is a shared responsibility like it's up to us to keep our community safe too but if everybody living reckless and everybody dont value life, it is what is," said Brown

The Group Violence Reduction Strategy is set to expand beyond the city's Western District early next year and deploy city wide by the end of 2024.