BALTIMORE — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan questioned leadership of Baltimore’s top officials and their handling of violence in the city.
As of Thursday, Baltimore said it is investigating 151 murders this year, which is an increase of nine compared to this time in 2021.
Baltimore is also on pace to reach near 300 murders for the year.
Gov. Hogan said he has done almost everything can do to help Baltimore, and its elected officials.
“Unless I decide to run for Mayor of Baltimore, I’m not sure what else I can do to fix it, but we are going to continue to do what we can to provide all the assistance for them,” Gov. Hogan said on Thursday.
Hogan said he has given Baltimore City more than $1 billion for public safety.
“We’ve given Baltimore City police, and the various four different mayors, we’ve dealt with everything they have asked for to try and get things done,” Hogan said. “We pushed for tougher sentencing for repeat violent offenders and people who keep shooting on the streets of Baltimore, all of them opposed on legislation and it failed the Senate twice.”
Overall, Gov. Hogan said the state has given Baltimore City more than $6 billion to invest in the root causes of crime, the school system, workforce development, tearing down blighted territory, and more.
Still, the governor blamed Baltimore leaders for their role in stopping violence.
“We are not arresting enough people. We are not prosecuting enough people and we are not sentencing enough people. None of those things are happening,” Hogan said. “Arrests are way down, I think nearly 80 or 90 percent. We prosecute like 30 people a year in Baltimore City for first-degree murder for 300 murders. It’s outrageous.”
Gov. Hogan recently wrote Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott a letter regarding the city's crime fighting strategy.
An "utter lack of progress" is how Hogan phrased his criticism of Scott's attempt to implement the city's crime plan.
In that initial letter to Scott, Hogan said he wanted the latest number of open felony warrants in Baltimore.
The Governor claimed that it was around 6,000 as of February.
Scott in his written response said that number was accurate, and that the city has since hired a firm to "modernize and clean up" the police department's historical warrant database.
One thing the Mayor did disagree with Hogan on, was the notion that Baltimore Police had been turning down offers from the Maryland State Police to help with investigations.
In his letter to Hogan, Scott called that information "inaccurate" saying he is unaware of any "particular instances of BPD rejecting MSP investigative assistance in ongoing and active cases."
Scott took it a step further asking for even more State Police help. Despite homicides and non-fatal shootings being up this year compared to last, Scott still insisted the numbers are declining month-to-month in an attempt to prove his strategy is working slowly but surely.
The Mayor also extended another invite for Hogan to visit Baltimore and discuss the city's ongoing crime fight.