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Mayor Scott announces plan to curb youth violence, hours before State of City Address

Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott, a Democrat, was inaugurated 667 days ago, on December 8, 2020. (official photo)
Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott, a Democrat, was inaugurated 667 days ago, on December 8, 2020. (official photo)

Mayor Brandon Scott held a closed public safety roundtable Monday morning with local faith leaders, State’s Attorney, Ivan Bates and Baltimore City’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Letitia Dzirasa.

Afterwards, they joined the mayor in announcing a public safety initiative, ahead of the summer when many young people are on a school break.

“I will always take a completely holistic approach to gun violence and public safety,” said Scott, whose administration will continue partnering with community groups to address what has become a frequent cycle of youth shootings.

“We have spent historic amounts of money, focusing on community partners to do violence work. This is something that we typically haven’t done in Baltimore,” he said as he defended his strategy. “We've always put that solely on the backs of the Baltimore Police Department. This is not an either- or. This is a both- and- approach.”

He said that while parents must take accountability for their kids, the city will expand mentorship programs that guide young men especially, towards productive pathways.

A representative with, We Our Us,-- a community engagement nonprofit that gears its programming towards young Black men— talked about the services they offer.

“We have a 24-hour STOP THE BEEF hotline,” he said. “If any child or any young man needs to be helped, they could call that hotline. There's someone on the end of that line that will respond to violence in the community.”

He added that We Our Us connects individuals with jobs and talks through interpersonal issues.

City leaders also warned of penalties for those who commit violence.

“We're going to have to try to put you in jail,” said Bates, the state’s attorney. “Parents, you have to raise your children.”

If you or anyone you know is struggling, dial (443) 522-7848 to reach someone at STOP THE BEEF hotline.

Wambui Kamau is a General Assignment Reporter for WYPR. @WkThee
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