Pugh calls on FBI for assistance
This week marks two years since the riots following the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, and Mayor Catherine Pugh called Wednesday on the local Federal Bureau of Investigation office to request more agents and equipment to assist Baltimore police.
The need for more resources from the FBI comes as the city hits 100 homicides before the end of April, surging fatal opioid overdoses and a stubborn 6.6 percent unemployment rate.
"I’m calling on all the assistance we can get because I can’t imagine going into our summer months what the crime rate is going to look like going into the end of the summer," Pugh said in a press briefing.
It is still unclear what additional FBI agents and equipment will be provided, but the mayor has made curbing crime her number one priority. Pugh also emphasized the need for more police and said that currently there are three to four classes of more than 100 cadets in the city police training program.
"It is not an issue that only the police can solve," said Anthony McCarthy, Pugh’s communications director.
"There has to be an awakening of respect and reverence for life. There has to be judicial system that buys in to assuring that people are kept off our streets that have a history of violence. There are a lot of partners that need to come together if we are to turn the tide of violence in this city."
Pugh also addressed contributing factors of the homicide rate such as surging fatal opioid overdoses and the 6.6 percent unemployment rate.
"When I walk up-and-down certain streets of our city it is like a march to nowhere," she said. She said her staff expects to announce how they plan to move forward with using additional FBI resources near the middle or the end of next week.