BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. — After a record number of homicides in 2021, Baltimore County officials held a town hall to hear residents concerns about crime and to discuss possible solutions.
“There is nothing in my opinion more important we can do than to increase the number of police officers simply patrolling the neighborhoods,” said Baltimore County Councilman David Marks.
The meeting comes after a violent start to the year in the county. Several people have already been killed, including a Towson student and a 26-year-old woman who was gunned down at a Catonsville shopping center.
In 2021, the county experienced 54 homicides which surpassed the record of 49.
“54 is a number I never thought I would see,” said Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
He said most of the homicides are drug or domestic violence related.
“We take a very aggressive approach to prosecuting domestic violence and trying to get to the root of the problem. Whether it be drugs, alcohol, anger issues or mental health issues,” he said.
He said his office is focused on making sure people who commit crimes don’t get a slap on the wrist.
County leaders said violent crime isn’t just an issue locally, but a problem nationwide.
They said to get it under control area departments must work together.
“A stronger Baltimore will lead to a stronger Baltimore County,” Marks said. “I think we need to do everything we can to coordinate with the police department, to share information and to have our patrols interacting.”