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Zero homicides, 365 days; Safe Streets Belair-Edison celebrates life

Changes coming to Baltimore's Safe Streets program
Posted at 5:51 PM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 17:51:52-05

BALTIMORE — Safe Streets Belair-Edison, a program of Living Classrooms Foundation, celebrates zero homicides in the last 365 days within the Belair-Edison catchment area with a community celebration event on December 29, 2021, at 3pm.

The celebration will commence outside the Safe Streets Belair-Edison site located at 3412 Belair Road, Baltimore, Md, 21213 with speakers, followed by a caravan through the Belair-Edison community, and culminating in a community dinner at the Safe Streets Belair-Edison site with music and activities. Anticipated guests include Senator Corey McCray, Baltimore City Councilwoman Danielle McCray, Baltimore City Councilman Tony Glover, Delegate Talmadge Branch, Delegate Chanel Branch, Delegate Stephanie Smith, Gardnel Carter from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety & Engagement (MONSE), President of Belair-Edison Community Association Rita Crews, and Executive Director K Bain who leads Community Capacity Development for the Cure Violence Program in New York City.

“Gun violence is a major public health crisis and the Safe Streets Program has persistently played a critical role in addressing it in our community. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Safe Streets team and its community partners, there has not been a single fatal shooting within the Belair-Edison catchment zone in the last year—ZERO murders in 365 days! By providing conflict mediation and other community-based violence intervention efforts, Safe Streets continues to keep the peace in our community. I’d like to thank Director Dante Johnson and the Safe Streets Program for their continued commitment to preventing gun violence and facilitating peace in the Belair-Edison catchment zone. I join you in celebrating this great achievement, and I look forward to another 365!” - Senator Corey McCray

“My pleasure in this milestone is with the Kings & Queens we work with day in and day out to change the perception about gun violence. They are the ones who made this happen. They believe that its better without the killing and Belair-Edison is a better place today. The people in my community have respect and honor for Safe Streets. They know the difference now between having an environment of hostility because of people dying from gun violence and now going over a year when none of their friends have died outside where they hang. Peace is like a disease; it spreads slowly but surely. “ – Safe Streets Belair-Edison Director Dante Johnson

The last shooting in the Belair-Edison catchment area resulting in a loss of life occurred on December 26, 2020, at the intersection of Nicholas Avenue and Belair Road.

“This achievement is the result of the community coming together to demand a safer environment for residents with the support of our dedicated and creative Safe Streets Belair-Edison team.” - Living Classrooms President & CEO James Piper Bond

Safe Streets is a community safety initiative to reduce shootings and killings by responding to violence as a collaborative public health imperative. Safe Streets is implemented in neighborhoods throughout Baltimore by a coalition of the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety & Engagement (MONSE), Living Classrooms Foundation, Baltimore service organizations and religious communities. The coalition is committed to creating sustainable community safety for all of Baltimore’s neighborhoods. Safe Streets Belair-Edison Director Dante Johnson acknowledges that the achievement of 365 days without a homicide in this area is both notable and bittersweet in the context of the 335 homicides that have occurred in Baltimore City in 2021.