The Department of Finance for Baltimore City has released its 2019 preliminary Fiscal budget plan and the main focus is to invest in the City’s safety.
The plan is to spend almost $28 million to help reduce violence and the first proposal for the city's general funds budget will affect the Police Department.
“We added 100 restored 100 positions in the police department - police officer positions,” said Deputy Budget Director Robert Cenname.
Although Cenname can confirm that these positions will put new officers on the street, he couldn’t say when or if any vacant positions would be filled.
Another new initiative is to put $1.3 million of the budget into crime lab gun intelligence.
“It is for firearms examiners that will gather gun crime, ballistics crime evidence and enter it into a national database. We're hoping that will improve our intelligence and our ability to close cases from that evidence,” said Cenname.
In addition to spending some of this money on new initiatives, Baltimore City also plans on making a few investments. One of which is to spend $800,000 on developing two police strategic command centers.
According to Cenname, this will be a one-time investment that will be based in the eastern and western districts. He also stated that the equipment that will be used in these areas will be great at gathering intelligence that can be useful to officers on the street.
As stated above, these new violence reduction initiatives would cost almost $28 million -- an amount the city is offsetting by offering fewer health care options to employees and increasing fees for anyone picked up by an ambulance.
Although that fee hadn't been increased in 10 years, you can provide your input on the proposal at the City's Tax Payer Night, which is scheduled on April 4th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the War Memorial.