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FULL INTERVIEW: Governor Says Spike In City Crime Calls For New Strategy
Updated: Thursday, September 19 2013, 05:49 PM EDT
Governor Martin O'Malley has expressed concern that Baltimore City is not effectively fighting crime and on Thursday warned it could be slipping back into habits that lead to high crime rates and rampant addiction.
"We can't fall back into the pathology that lead Baltimore to being the most violent and addicted city in America and all of us shrug our shoulders while lives are lost, children are being shot, people are being sprayed with gunfire in broad daylight and go back to the old Baltimore pathology that says there is nothing we can do about it."
His remarks came as homicides are up 10% and non-fatal shootings have increased 20% this year.
The Governor focused his criticism on the number of arrests which have fallen dramatically in the city, a trend he says coincides with the increase in crime.
"These lines crossed 8 months ago, so I think any reasonable citizens would want to ask - perhaps there's something more we can do to improve our level of enforcement."
During O'Malley's tenure as Mayor of Baltimore the city implemented a so-called "zero tolerance" policy which called for arrests for nuisance crimes to prevent more violent crimes. The controversial strategy lead to tens of thousands of arrests characterized as illegal in a lawsuit by the ACLU and NACAAP, a suit the city eventually settled for $1 million.
The Governor stopped short of calling for a return to zero tolerance.
On Wednesday Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she remains committed to focusing on the most violent criminals.