Baltimore is poised to exceed 300 murders for the 7th straight year. Politicians and those in academia discuss the need to treat gun violence as a disease and invest more in violence interrupter programs. The conversations and methodologies to stop the violence have happened for years. Now there is a coordinated shift from one side to another with social activism calls to “defund the police” and fund programs that target youth and influence behavior.
T.J. Smith is a retired police commander, former chief spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department, former press secretary for the Baltimore County Executive, and a former Baltimore City mayoral candidate. More recently, Smith partnered with Jimmy’s Famous Fund where he assisted in raising more than $600,000 over the past year that was donated to small restaurants in Baltimore, children for a holiday experience, and the families of a police officer and firefighters killed in the line of duty. In addition to hosting the 2Bmore Podcast, Smith consults on government, leadership, and law enforcement issues. He is also a frequent guest on a national news outlet and TV One network programming.
TJ Smith - Facebook @TJSmithSocial [facebook.com]
TJ Smith - Twitter @TJSmithSocial [twitter.com]
Dr. Johnny Rice II is an Associate Professor and Chair at the Department of Criminal Justice at Coppin State University, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Research Fellow, Bishop L. Robinson Sr. Justice Institute. He has spent nearly 22 years in leadership in the areas of child welfare, youth development, and criminal justice in efforts to create safe and stable communities. He served as the administrator for the Family Violence, Victims of Crime and Fatherhood Programs for the State of Maryland while at the Maryland Department of Human Resources. As an addictions counselor within the Maryland Correctional System (Patuxent), Dr. Rice worked with incarcerated inmates teaching classes in Moral Problem Solving and Relapse Prevention.
Jason Johnson is the President of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, former Baltimore Police Department Deputy Commissioner of the Strategic Services Bureau, retired Prince George’s County, MD Police Department commander, and an attorney.
Jason Johnson- Twitter: @leldf_president [twitter.com]
Angie Smith Winder is a community advocate and Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee Member, District 43 Chair; President at NECO (Northeast Community Organization), and host at Radio On Fire and founder of the Restoring The Village Project.