NewsLocal News


Retired BPD detective weighs in on city's 'Group Violence Reduction Strategy'

crime scene generic
Posted at 5:17 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 08:01:52-04

BALTIMORE — Tuesday's pair of murders are examples of the crime and violence leaving city leaders scrambling for solutions.

A former Baltimore Police detective says the city's 'Group Violence Reduction Strategy' is an old solution for Baltimore's evolving and expanding crime problem.

GVRS is an approach that shifts the primary responsibility for violence prevention from law enforcement to community-based organizations, according to Mayor Scott, Commissioner Harrison and State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

The trio invited more than 25 agencies to the table for their roll out meeting with leaders promising "this time things will be different."

For Deborah Ramsey, it sounds like more of the same from the years she served Baltimore as a detective.

"I'm hoping that the city will be successful. I'm looking at the facts. We tried it twice, it didn't work so where do we go from here?" Ramsey questioned.

The city's approach mirrors the model used in Oakland, California that had two unsuccessful attempts at implementing it before its claimed success in 2013.

Ramsey recalls two former Baltimore administrations adopting the model as well--Mayor Schmoke and Mayor Rawlings-Blake.

"Why would we want to use that same recipe? If it didn't work 20, 30 years ago and things have gotten really more complex and complicated and times were a little more simpler. If those tactics did not work then why would they work today in more complex environment?" Ramsey continued.

She says the city should be careful in an attempt to enforce the law with 'theories.'

Among the agencies brought to the table, United Efforts, Ramsey's non profit based in the Penn North community wasn't one of them.

"We've always had police at the table. We've always had representatives from the state's attorney's office at the table. We've always had organizations that are hand-picked at the table. Where has that gotten us?" She questioned.