Today, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh joins Tom in Studio A. Like Mayor Martin O’Malley, Mayor Sheila Dixon, and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake before her, last Friday, Mayor Pugh fired the city's police commissioner. Kevin Davis was an outsider who had come to Baltimore after tenures in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties. He was replaced by a 30-year veteran of the Baltimore Police, Darryl DeSousa. The Mayor’s mandate to her Commissioner-designate is clear: improve violence reduction, and turn around our city’s crime numbers, which are at historic levels.
The first few weeks of this New Year have not been easy for the city: multiple maintenance crises in city schools, the announcement by Amazon that we are out of the running for their new headquarters, the shuttering of the only big box department store in West Baltimore, and hovering above it all: murders on our streets that continue at an alarming rate.
Mayor Pugh points to several areas in which the city is making progress. The Police training academy has a full class preparing to join the force. Bloomberg Philanthropies has invested millions to improve technology for law enforcement, and to train young entrepreneurs. The Safe Streets program is being expanded, and a new violence reduction program that has shown promise in Boston is being bought to Baltimore.
The Mayor has spoken of changing the narrative about our city. She talks about how she plans to do that in today's Midday with the Mayor. And she takes questions and comments from the Midday audience.
Today's program was streamed live on WYPR's Facebook page, where you can now watch the complete video.