ANNAPOLIS, Md. — One of the top priorities this legislative session for Maryland lawmakers was to address crime in Baltimore.
Two lawmakers from Baltimore said progress was made to reduce crime in the city. Most notably was a ban on ghost guns and more money to help police clear a backlog of arrest warrants .
More than 70 people have been shot and killed in Baltimore since the start of this year’s legislative session.
“We have 40,000 active warrants,” said Senator Cory McCray, from Baltimore.
McCray told WMAR-2 that progression is being made to help reduce and prevent violence in Baltimore.
McCray pointed to the passage of one his bills that will allocate more money to help police clear the backlog of arrest warrants.
“It’s very important that we drop those open and active warrants,” McCray said. “The reality is that we may be saving somebody’s life when we take them off the streets when they have an open or active warrant. That’s not always the victim, sometimes it’s the perpetrator who have somebody looking at them.”
McCray also touted the passage of a bill that would require the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to notify Baltimore police when a defendant is released on bail.
“When folks were being reloaded, you would find out from people in the neighborhood versus the police department knowing.”
Delegate Stephanie Smith, from Baltimore, believes the ban on ghost guns will help in the crime fight as well.
“Ghost guns have been increasing in usage and quite frankly in makes it hard for people to solve those crimes with untraceable firearms,” Smith said.
Smith also said investments were made in education and workforce developments.
She said improving the quality of life for people living in Baltimore can help prevent crime.
“You can’t find me a place that’s safe and find me a place where people don’t have access to jobs and opportunity,” Smith said.