There have been 52 murders in Baltimore City so far this year. We are more than halfway through this legislative session, and Rome is still burning.
Republicans and Democrats agree on more than they disagree on when you look at proposals from the Governor, Republicans in the House, and our Democratic colleagues, and we are hopeful that a compromise can be worked out to bring relief to the citizens and business of Baltimore City.
However, there is still no plan of action to address the immediate need to bring this Violent Crime Emergency under control.
With all of the proposals on the table now, many that have merit, there is still no plan to bring immediate relief to Baltimore City.
Our emergency bill establishes a Violent Crime Emergency that would offer an immediate solution to get this crisis under control. Our bill is simple:
- It expands the Emergency Powers of the Governor and creates another tool to combat out of control crime and violence
- It Establishes a threshold of violence:
- When the local homicide rate reaches at least 3 homicides per 100,000 residents in a jurisdiction in a 30-day period
- For Baltimore City, this threshold would be met when there are more than 18 murders in a month. In January 2020 there were 26 murders in Baltimore City.
- And when that threshold is met:
- The Governor can declare a State of Emergency in that jurisdiction and direct the appropriate state emergency resources, law enforcement and other responses to combat crime and investigate and prosecute cases
- The Governor can also appoint additional prosecutors through the Office of Special Prosecutors to prosecute criminal cases brought by state law enforcement
Every Marylander deserves to live in a safe community without fear of violence.
We understand that combating crime is complex issue and that comprehensive solutions take time, but we also need a swift and certain response to bring this Crime Emergency under control.