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Gov. Hogan calls out Baltimore Mayor for "utter lack of progress" toward implementing crime plan

Scott fires back...
Gov. Larry Hogan and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott
Posted at 2:48 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 17:21:35-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Governor Larry Hogan on Thursday sent a letter to Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, questioning what he called an "utter lack of progress" toward implementing the city's crime plan.

It's not the first time Hogan has criticized Scott and other Baltimore City leaders when it comes to their crime fighting strategy.

The Governor now cites a February meeting with Scott in Annapolis.

"In February, you assured us that there was a comprehensive plan in place, but at this point, I do not believe anyone - including you - believes it is working," Hogan wrote.

During that meeting, Hogan says he agreed to Scott's request to provide tens-of-millions in state funding to fight city crime.

But none of it he says is working.

The Governor now wants Scott to provide a "comprehensive update" on the crime plan's implementation, and accounting of how state funds have and will be spent on city crime.

RELATED: Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott rolls out multi-year violence reduction plan

A number of Baltimore City Council members have been demanding to know the same thing.

“We had a 17-year-old young man who was killed after celebrating his junior prom, we had 60 gun shots fired in the middle of a residential neighborhood in the middle of the day and we had a pregnant woman and her fiance murdered,” Councilman Eric Costello said, prior to a budget hearing last week.

MORE: Baltimore Council members demand short-term crime plan ahead of budget hearings

“People are calling our offices crying out and it’s time that the police department sit down and give us an immediate plan. It’s the responsibility of the police department,” Council Vice-President Sharon Green Middleton said at the time.

Scott fired back calling Hogan's remarks "publicity games."

The Mayor added that "Hogan has refused to offer Baltimore any meaningful help," since taking office.

That despite the city accepting state grants and funding for public safety year-after-year, while turning down Hogan's continuous offers for the Maryland State Police to help with investigations.

Still, other agencies including Maryland State Police have served over 115 warrants and made more than 150 arrests in the city this year, according to Hogan.

During his time as Mayor, Scott has rolled out a Community Violence Intervention plan, and Group Violence Reduction Strategy, but shootings and murders have showed little sign of slowing down.

So far in 2022 there have been 130 people killed in Baltimore, which is three more than at this time last year.

But on Thursday in response, Scott claimed the numbers are coming down.

"On February 1, Baltimore was 28% above 2021 in homicides and 25% above in non-fatal shootings, and as of [Thursday] morning, Baltimore is at 2.4% and 8.3% above, respectively," Scott said.

Baltimore Mayor Scott responds to governor's letter on violence
Mayor Scott Statement to Gov. Hogan

Hogan also wants to know the latest number of open felony warrants in Baltimore.

The Governor claims that Police Commissioner Michael Harrison put that number at 6,000 back in February.

Scott now says the city is "clearing warrants quicker than we did in 2021. In partnership with the Warrant Apprehension Task Force, we have cleared murder warrants in an average of 13 days, which is over an 18% increase from 2021."

The Mayor closed out his response by inviting Hogan to Baltimore for a tour, and to again discuss the city's ongoing crime fight.

"The Governor knows how to help, but he refuses to do so," said Scott. "If the Governor wants a briefing, I’ll brief him, and if he wants to take me up on my offer to come to my city and see what we are doing every day, that offer stands."