Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan has been largely silent on the violence plaguing the city of Baltimore. Except for criticizing the city’s Mayor Catherine Pugh, the governor has not done much to combat the growing problem and the Democrat-run city is crumbling.
He states that he believes the increase in crime is due to a lack of enforcement of the laws by judges. At the same times, gang activity and drug trafficking are on the rise.
Hogan was joined at his press conference by many law enforcement officials from around the state. Notably missing was anyone from the city of Baltimore as he called the courts weak on crime;
“Today’s press conference is about immediate actions. Obviously, things like community centers, summer jobs, and free college tuition are things we can address. Maybe they have an impact longer-term on crime, but they have nothing to do whatsoever with immediately taking these criminals off the streets.”
He criticized Mayor Pugh’s anti-violence plan. He believes that the Democrat’s policies focus too much on providing services to youth. Governor Hogan claims that needs to be shifted to fighting crime in the present.
He stated, “I didn’t consider that to be an immediate violent crime plan or strategy, and I still don’t.”
Mayor Pugh struck back quickly, pointing out that her plan includes more officers on the street and improving police training and technology. Whatever is being done is not working.
Baltimore is on pace to have more than 1,000 shootings by the end of the year. Governor Hogan stated that there were more than 300 drug-trafficking organizations in the state, 10,000 people associated with gangs, and more than 5,00 guns involved in crimes’
“Let me be crystal clear: I have absolutely no tolerance whatsoever for these repeat violent offenders and these criminal gangs causing lawlessness in our streets.”
Specifics of Hogan’s plan include:
- New Governor’s Council on Gangs and Violent Criminal Networks made up of prosecutors and police to fight gang crime.
- New intelligence network to help police and prosecutors better share data across the state and with federal law enforcement.
- Expanded patrols by Maryland State Police and other state law enforcement agencies in high-crime areas.
- Assistance from Maryland State Police in serving high-priority warrants.
- More than 200 parole and probation officers to track down offenders.
- An “aggressive sweep” across the city with 80 U.S. marshals and federal officers on high-priority warrants.
- New legislation to increase minimum sentences for repeat violent offenders.
- New “truth-in-sentencing” legislation that would require second-time violent criminals to serve their full sentence and make them ineligible for parole.
- Expedited demolition of vacant homes in high-crime areas.
These tough action by the governor are certainly needed. However, it is disturbing that it has taken him this long to step up and take the helm of this out of control city.
Source: The Baltimore Sun