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Baltimore Mayor: Crime-Fighting Strategy ‘Not Working,’ More than a Homicide a Day

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said Wednesday that her administration is searching for ways to reduce the city’s high crime rate as the city experiences a homicide a day in the first month of 2017.

Forty people were killed in the first 39 days of the year, an increase of 118 percent from the same time in 2016, the Baltimore Sun reported. More than 112 people have been shot.

“This strategy that we have in place is not working to the extent we need it to,” Pugh said.

Pugh cited the case of an 18-year-old shot and killed by police Tuesday — whom police say was carrying a gun, was just released from jail, and had been arrested on drug and gun charges three times in the past month.

“It shows dysfunction, I believe, in our criminal justice system,” Pugh said of the case. “People who have those many gun charges probably should not be on our streets.”

Unlike Baltimore, New York City has been experiencing record-low crime rates. Twenty people out of 8.4 million people were killed in January 2017 compared with 22 people in January 2016.

Pugh said she’s meeting with experts from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Bloomberg Philanthropies to tackle the crime problem. She also held a meeting with nearly 100 community members to discuss solutions.

“While I know that gun violence is a major problem in our city, I also know that police can’t solve this problem by themselves. … A group of us came together to talk about solutions,” Pugh said. “How do we get the community engaged? How do we make our streets safer?”

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