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Agency heads across Mayor Catherine Pugh's administration have joined forces to flood four small "transformation zones" in Baltimore with resources as part of a coordinated, citywide effort to reduce violent crime.The zones — one each in East,...

Baltimore police, agencies join forces to target four violent 'transformation zones'

Agency heads across Mayor Catherine Pugh's administration have joined forces to flood four small "transformation zones" in Baltimore with resources as part of a coordinated, citywide effort to reduce violent crime.The zones — one each in East,...

Baltimore police, agencies join forces to target four violent 'transformation zones'

Agency heads across Mayor Catherine Pugh's administration have joined forces to flood four small "transformation zones" in Baltimore with resources as part of a coordinated, citywide effort to reduce violent crime.

The zones — one each in East, West and Northwest Baltimore, and one in the Tri-District area where the Southern, Southwestern and Western police districts meet — all represent high-crime areas where homicides, non-fatal shootings, burglaries, car thefts, and calls for gunfire and armed people are common, said Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.

Their selection does not mean that other parts of the city will be neglected, Davis said, but they will receive attention like nowhere else.

"We know that if we collectively commit to provide better government — and policing is part of better government — to those small geographies, then we can really turn the tide for the entire city," Davis told the City Council's public safety committee this week. "It's not just about the cops. It's about the cops, it's about housing, it's about education, it's about public works, it's about health, it's about everybody coming together and working within a defined geography to bring better government to historically under-served families and individuals."

The police department is training 16 "neighborhood coordination officers" — four for each zone — who will help coordinate the initiative along with administrative working groups that have been created with representatives from other city agencies.

A man was critically injured in a shooting in the Westport neighborhood of south Baltimore on Tuesday night, police said.

The man was found around 7 p.m. in the 2200 block of Annapolis Road. The 26-year-old victim, later identified as Jackie Burris of the 2200 block of Sydney Avenue, was shot in...

A man was critically injured in a shooting in the Westport neighborhood of south Baltimore on Tuesday night, police said.

The man was found around 7 p.m. in the 2200 block of Annapolis Road. The 26-year-old victim, later identified as Jackie Burris of the 2200 block of Sydney Avenue, was shot in...

The initiative is modeled after similar programs in other jurisdictions, including New York City and Prince George's County, where it is known as the Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative, Davis said.

While the Baltimore Police Department has had targeted neighborhood initiatives in the past, Davis said they too often lacked a long-term commitment from other city agencies to follow up on the police department's work once crime decreased. He said he wants this program to be different.

The heads of various city agencies also spoke to the council about the efforts and resources they will bring to the table under the new model.

Dr. Leana Wen, the city's health commissioner, said her agency will focus on community mediation and work to address substance abuse and mental illness needs in the transformation zones. It will also focus on early childhood interventions. she said.

Things like lead paint poisoning, and even the lack of eyeglasses for children who have impaired vision, can lead to problems in school and violence down the line, Wen said.

Michael Braverman, the city's acting housing commissioner, said his agency would work on vacant property remediation, blight elimination and illegal dumping. He said it would also assist police in targeting home and business owners who are contributing to crime in the transformation zones and may also be breaking housing and business codes.

Officials from the city's public works, transportation, planning and small business development agencies also spoke to their commitment to the initiative. Officials said academics from Johns Hopkins University would help track the impact of the effort, and that community input also would be collected.

Councilman Kristerfer Burnett said city officials should consider more community engagement, because if community members aren't involved in maintaining progress, "we're going to be here again" discussing the same problems.

The East Baltimore zone is just northeast of Johns Hopkins Hospital. The West Baltimore zone is centered around the Penn North neighborhood. The Northwest Baltimore zone is in the Park Heights area, near Pimlico Race Track. The Tri-District zone stretches across the city's Boyd-Booth and Carrollton Ridge neighborhoods.

Councilman Leon Pinkett III asked officials if there would be similar opportunities for other neighborhoods moving forward.

"The answer to that," said Tisha Edwards, Pugh's chief of staff, "is absolutely."

krector@baltsun.com

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Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

Publish Date : 23 Şubat 2017 Perşembe 17:24

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