BALTIMORE — Wednesday marks 1 year since Baltimore swore in their 52nd mayor, Brandon Scott. He sat down with WMAR-2 News to shed light on his administration's profess and path forward.
Among the issues facing Baltimore residents, what the numbers say about crime present both challenges and victories for Mayor Scott within his first year of office.
"This year we've lost over 450 people to COVID and 317 folks to homicide in Baltimore that's what keeps me up at night and that's why that's where my focus is," said Scott
Year one for Mayor Scott came with an extensive list of pressing issues to attack with violent crime throughout the city at the top of it.
"People are losing their lives," he said.
Scott fell short of his goal to cap homicides beneath 300 for the first time in seven years.
"The number one thing I think about are the people that we lost, the fact that my friend Dante Barksdale is no longer here and what if anything we all could have done to have that not happen," said Scott.
He and 316 others murdered so far in Baltimore this year.
Despite those harsh numbers Mayor Scott says the city is making some progress in crime reduction.
"The fact that nonfatal shootings are down, the fact that burglaries are down 17 percent, the fact that street robberies that include carjacking's, home invasions are down 12 percent over the last year," Scott shared.
According to BPD they've made an arrest and closed nearly 42 percent of their homicide cases accounting for more than 130 murders compared to the 38 percent of closed cases the previous year.
"To have a 6 percent increase in closing cases is a big deal and its the same number for nonfatal shootings and our district detectives or shooting detectives who have been handling that. that means that more families are getting closure. More killers are of the streets of Baltimore," he said.
Tackling the issue with repeat offenders prompted Scott to revamp the criminal justice coordinating counsel in hopes of avoiding the persistent finger pointing among officials.
"It was the police's fault, the state attorney's fault, it was the judges fault, it was this person, the core commissioner's fault...but the reality is that no one really knows or knew what's happening," he shared.
Instead the CJCC is intended to open the lines of communication.
"To bring local, state and federal partners immediately together, public safety agencies to focus on what we all can do to bring safety in Baltimore," Scott said.
He expressed a sense of optimism regarding bringing violent offenders to justice.
"When you think about also the amount of outstanding warrants we have for people, we know who these folks are and they are going to be brought in as well," said Scott.
Crime and it's context, he says, has to be taken into account looking at Baltimore's trend of violence.
This is a nationwide thing. Cities around the country are seeing violence go up to be honest in quite more significant percentages than we are even here in Baltimore, being last year one the exceptions in reducing violent crime.
But it's impact is still just as personal.
"Even though I didn't do it I feel personally responsible each and every time that happens to someone," Scott said.