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'That's not normal': New nonprofit org. looking to prevent crime in Baltimore

Public Safety Partnership.jpg
Posted at 6:46 PM, Sep 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-13 19:00:06-04

BALTIMORE — Violence throughout Baltimore City seems to be a universal language across neighborhoods, now a new community organization is looking to be part of the solution to some of these issues.

Public Safety Partnership Incorporated is a new nonprofit organization looking to work with the community groups that already exist to fight violence, especially as it relates to youth in community.

Incidents involving youth being hurt or killed like the murder that happened outside Mervo High School is what this group's co-founders said they’re working to change, to prevent it from happening again.

Christopher Ervin, who’s one of the co-founders, said they are working towards stronger communities being shaped not just by city leaders but by the advocates who live there.

“We believe that it is time for the citizens of Baltimore to take lead in being active in what we want to see, we can't just wait for someone to save us,” Ervin said.

Public Safety Partnership Inc. organizers said it’s their main mission. Ervin said issues like the murder of 17-year-old Jeremiah Brogden outside of Mervo High School is what they’re working to prevent from happening across the city.

“There was knowledge beforehand that some of the youth at the school knew both individuals and knew that there was a spark, or something was about to happen. And again, if they had the proper channels of space to share that information, we might have had a different outcome,” Ervin said.

Linda Batts is another co-founder of PSP Inc., she said that’s why they believe their organization could help by leading public safety efforts.

“When youth don't survive, when youth are injured, we impact the prospect of the number of that demographic in our future. So our black male population is dwindling,” Batts said.

Batts said addressing the deeper rooted issues of what’s stemming the violence is also the focus.

“You know, we can't get comfortable with just quoting numbers, deaths, locations, and spaces, where these incidents and where this trauma is occurring. This trauma is affecting all of us,” Batts said.

“Youth violence didn't just develop overnight. It's been something that has been based on unaddressed lingering trauma issues that have become normal, the isolation of COVID, mental wellness and mental health concerns, environmental justice issues, education,” Parker said.

The list goes on and on.

Crystal Parker, who’s another co-founder, said it’s why they plan to change what has been adapted as normal.

“How many youth have seen you know a dead body by the time they’re 8 or 9 years old ? That's not normal, but it has become so normalized,” Parker said.

With this new organization, organizers want to be advocates where the community is taking the initiative to make the changes they wish to see.