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Baltimore City Council public safety committee gets new chair

Posted at 5:29 PM, Jun 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 08:17:04-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore Councilman Yitzy Schleifer will now take Council President Brandon Scott's old seat as Head of the Public Safety Committee.

With violent crime continuing to surge, including a triple shooting early Thursday morning in Northeast Baltimore, it remains perhaps one of the more important assignments, one Schleifer says he wants to take on the road.

"Yeah, the public safety committee should come into the communities -- the nine police districts – and hear from the community about what some of the challenges that they are facing," Schleifer said.

The councilman is going to be driven by results as the Chairman of Public Safety, he says, and wants community involvement to help continue governmental oversight of the violence issue in Baltimore.

The council so far is encouraged by Baltimore Commissioner Michael Harrison's “microzone” strategy he unveiled earlier this week.

Council President Brandon Scott says his old committee with new leadership will push to learn more in the coming days.

"It is just one cog in a big wheel of what other things need to be done,” Scott said, “Call reduction, a plan for the group violence that is going on in the city of Baltimore and trying to do things differently."

Scott says he will be briefed on the “microzone” strategy soon but also has his eye on August 1. That’s the deadline in which the city must present a crime reduction plan to the state in order to receive $14 million in support.

It requires the State's Attorney, the commissioner and the mayor to collaborate on a strategy to get a hold violent crime.

"My understanding is that they are working together comprehensively and cohesively to come out with a plan because they have to, it’s not optional, so for me, feelings don’t matter,” Scott said, “What matters to me is what is happening on the streets of Baltimore, and we have to deal with that in an immediate but also in a comprehensive way."

They know that crime isn't going to wait on new committee chairs, council presidents, or a new crime plan.