Baltimore’s mayor is turning to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for help as the city is struggling to deal with its rising murder rate.
The number of homicides in Baltimore has skyrocketed, with the total number of murders reaching 100 before the end of April for the first time in 20 years, prompting the mayor to ask the FBI for more help, CNN reported.
In 2014, it took until July 4 for Baltimore to reach 100 murders in a year, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“I’m calling on all the assistance we can possibly get because I can’t imagine going into our summer months with our crime rate where it is today, what that’s going to look like by the end of the summer,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said.
“Murder is out of control,” she added.
Pugh met with the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore division and other officials to discuss how federal law enforcement officials can help city police with personnel and technical expertise, but did not provide specifics on the meeting, WJZ reported.
Anthony McCarthy, Pugh’s press secretary, told WBFF the mayor plans to make an announcement sometime next week about when or if the FBI will expand their presence in Baltimore.
The violent crime is only expected to get worse as warmer weather approaches.
In 2016, Baltimore experienced the highest number of murders in July, with 36 homicides on record.
The shrinking of the city’s police force has also contributed to the spike in crime.
The number of officers in the city’s police force has reportedly reached its lowest level since the year 2000, and the force is struggling to bring in new officers.
“You get in a crisis mode like we’re in right now with crime out of control and not enough uniformed officers on the street, I would say it’s at a crisis point,” said Baltimore police union head Lt. Gene Ryan.