BALTIMORE — Taking a holistic approach to fighting crime and gun violence in the city of Baltimore was a key element expressed as part of the expansion of Project Exile.
In a video provided to WMAR-2 News, you see a couple of men hop out of their parked car to rob a victim just walking in Southeast Baltimore.
The victim in the video was defenseless like hundreds of other victims of violent crimes across Baltimore, an issue U.S. Attorney Johnathan Lenzner and City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby addressed yesterday in a news conference.
That collaboration between local, state and federal prosecutors will improve prosecution efforts for repeat offenders in federal court along with those possessing illegal guns linked to other shootings.
Prosecuting offenders is one thing; preventing the problem early-on is another.
That connection was something Val Jenkins, the founder of Hug, Don't Shoot was glad to hear prosecutors address.
"There's a ton of organizations out in Baltimore that are doing amazing things in the streets to grab these kids," Jenkins shared.
Liz Banach the Executive Director of Marylanders Against Gun Violence agrees that violence intervention and prevention programs are evidence-based solutions to reducing gun violence but argues the funding to sustain them just isn't there.
"We know that work has been incredibly effective. We can see it in California and New York. When those investments are made, violence has been reduced drastically," Banach said.
Banach proposes the proper funding of hospital, community, and psychologically based programs to address prevention that are being used in other states.
For Banach and Jenkins alike its all about the proper approach so that Baltimore citizens have a safer place to live and a peace of mind.
"I am hoping that they do their job. If they do their job, I do my job, you do your job, we all have a job to do. We all have a piece of the puzzle," said Jenkins.