Baltimore seeks answers as homicides reach 200

Posted at 11:57 PM, Jul 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-28 23:57:09-04

BALTIMORE, MD (WJZ/CNN) -  Riding through the streets of Charm City, the frustrations over violence are obvious. "It's us killing each other, too much crime against each other," Baltimore resident Christina Day said.  

It’s violence that's out of control. "The kids can't even play outside without getting hurt or shot,” a woman said.

And pressure on city officials is continuing to grow.  "We have a responsibility to reduce that violence,"  Mayor Catherine Pugh said on Friday. 

On Wednesday, the city hit another grim milestone - 200 homicides. That figure is a mark that wasn't reached until September in 2016, and mid-August in 2015. "Two years ago, we didn't even reach 200 by now,” Day said. 

Now there is a new plan to attack the staggering numbers. The commissioner has now reassigned 150 officers and supervisors, making up what's called 21 district action teams, two for each of the city's nine police districts.

For months, city police officers have been walking the streets wearing body cameras. For better or worse, it's captured plenty of incidents and is part of an ongoing effort to build trust within the community.

And experts who helped Los Angeles and Boston Police departments with crime are soon coming in to assist local officials.  "I've got two consultants coming in August to help us transform our police department,” the mayor said. 

But for some, that’s not enough. "It seems like people don't care the value of life anymore," said Dr. Andre Humphrey, a community activist. Humphrey says the answer is in Baltimore. "You have people right here in Baltimore city capable of taking the bull by the horns," he said.

The youth need more guidance, he argues. “We need to sit down and let them see that they have a future, and there is hope,” he said. 

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