ESSEX, Md. — On the heels of a triple shooting near Foxcroft Lane in Essex, the steps moving forward, Mary Smith says, starts at the community's core.
"You don't want to go anywhere by yourself, you don't want to sit out by yourself. It used to be a really good neighborhood where you can leave your doors unlocked or your car doors unlocked, but now if it's not tied down or locked down, it's walking away," she said, frustrated by recent crimes in the area.
Baltimore County leaders including County Executive Johnny Olzewski and Police Chief Melissa Hyatt paced through the neighborhood were adamant about bringing total change for the better for the people living there.
"If there are concerns that you have, be they potholes or roads that need resurfacing or someone that might need help getting connected to our behavioral help team, the department of health is even here," Olzewski said, referencing the Baltimore County county council members and department heads in the neighborhood.
As police look for killers, Olzewski says he wanted to bring not only the police department, but different leaders in different departments to really talk to people in the community.
From public works to workforce development, every department was there for an opportunity the county executive said was to be part of the solution and build vibrant communities.
Still though, Mary was skeptical, adding she wants the county to back their words up with actions.
"You call about gunshots, you call about drug usage -- things that you see on the street," Smith said. "It's ignored."