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'It's a community effort.' Belair-Edison neighborhood celebrate a year without a homicide

Posted at 10:54 PM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 23:23:38-05

BALTIMORE (WMAR) -- Baltimore's Belair-Edison neighborhood has something to celebrate. It's been a year with no gun-related killings.

It's a big milestone given last years neighborhood stats of seven homicides in 2020 have wanted to achieve for a while after having had seven homicides last year. The last shooting on Dec. 26th, 2020 resulted in death in the northeast Baltimore neighborhood.

"It’s a beautiful day for the Belair-Edison community and the city as a hole. We worked tirelessly day in and day out to be a conflict," said Dante Johnson, director of Safe Streets.

"Today we are celebrating life," said Rita Crews, president of the local community association. "We’re not celebrating anything that’s detrimental to the community."

The effort includes the involvement of neighborhood associations, businesses, schools and homeowners.

"Most importantly, we work with those guys and ladies that are at the highest risk of being injured or the perpetrators of violence," Johnson said.

"There was a time when people were fearful to go outside in Belair-Edison. And now, they are not fearful," Crews said.

The celebration was bittersweet, realizing Baltimore's continued trauma and devastation caused by violence this year. So far, the number of fatal shootings/homicide cases sits at 335.

"We're saddened anytime it happens," said Johnson. "But we're excited it didn't happen in our neighborhood, but we understand the potential it could have happened here," Johnson said.