BALTIMORE — Every night leading up to the weekend we’ve been talking about what’s being done to prevent another out-of-control weekend in Fells Point.
Mayor Brandon Scott wanted to hear directly from the people tonight and so his office held a virtual town hall Thursday night.
The Police Commissioner, the Deputy Mayor and other city leaders answered questions from some of the hundreds of people who dialed in.
The Mayor himself was not in the meeting which a lot of people were not happy about.
We did talk to him earlier and were under the impression he would attend this meeting.
Instead, Deputy Mayor Sunny Schnitzer addressed the nearly 1000 people who were on the call.
“One thing I really want to emphasis is on the front end of this, this is going to be a continual assessment,” Schnitzer said. “Each week we will be assessing the data, going out doing site visits, compliance checks throughout the weekend to make sure we are implementing our plans with fidelity.”
The people who live and own businesses here feel like the city isn’t doing enough to keep this area safe and clean during and after these pop up parties.
Police Commissioner Michael Harrison laid out the plan which included an increased officer presence with help from state police and other jurisdictions, foxtrot and other technology.
“The officers are there to make sure we can constantly scan for people who are illegally carrying weapons,” said Harrison. “Their instructions are to be on high alert. To scan the crowd continually to try to ascertain who’s carrying illegal weapons and to target them and make those arrests and extract them from the crowd so we don’t have a repeat of what we saw.”
They will also have a sobriety checkpoint coming in and out of Fells Point.
The powder keg of problems exploded last weekend when several people were shot and the square was packed with people drinking fighting dancing on top of cop cars until after 4 am.
It prompted around 40 business owners to write a letter to the Mayor threatening to withhold taxes if their basic needs aren’t met.
DPW committed crews to empty trash cans 4 times a day.
“We will also have one inspector inside of the footprint for the liquor board,” Ramos said. “As well as some additional city hall presence and on call support.”
The Mayor organized more street closures and permit parking in and around Fells Point.
There were several people who joined in to question why Fells Point is getting so much attention.
Scott addressed that concern during an interview earlier in the day
“I will not value one area over another, but we know the importance of being ready to tackle an incident like that because you’re talking about a neighborhood that has such a history but also a place where people can come and enjoy themselves,” Scott said.
This meeting was about 50 minutes long and people sent their questions in through a chat, for officials to answer.