Baltimore Calls On Feds To Help End Violence Streak

In light of the record-breaking violence Baltimore has seen over the past several months, the city has enlisted the help of the federal government to assist the police in restoring order.

For two months, the city will receive help from 10 additional agents, hailing from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Marshals Service. These new agents will join the joint task force B-FED, which Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake described as “an all-hands-on-deck movement addressing violence in our community.”

Baltimore has seen an alarming increase in homicides this year, with the current number at 192. Meanwhile, 2014 saw a total of 208 for the whole year. City officials are hoping that this new strategy will keep this number from climbing at this same rate.

“Our federal law enforcement partners bring tools to bear that we necessarily don’t enjoy, federal assets and federal techniques that will help us close more homicide cases,” said the city’s interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.

Although the city is no stranger to violence during a normal year, the recent spike in homicides attributed largely to the community’s response to the murder of Freddie Gray brings the problem to a whole new level.

“We need to lower the murder rate, lower the crime rate, increase the confidence level that Baltimore is a good, strong, safe city to live in, to work in, to worship in,” said Maryland Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D).

In an attempt to tackle these problems with as much strength as possible, city officials instituted a “war room” last month, which gave police, federal agents and prosecutors the opportunity to work as a unit.

Spokesmen from the groups supplying agents have all said that the idea is not for the people coming in to observe idly. Rather, they will be doing as much as possible to actively help the police in any way they can.

“We’re not riding along in cars,” said Brian Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service office in Baltimore. “We’re going to provide the assistance we can provide. We may look at cases with them. If there’s a lead involving financial crimes or financial activities, we’d be happy to run with that.” Murphy has sent one of his agents to the force.

According to Special Agent David Cheplak of the ATF, who himself assisted the Baltimore PD in controlled drug buys and surveillance, “The understanding is that an agent will be partnered up with a current homicide detective, given a caseload with the goal being to clear these homicides.”

The ATF provided 12 agents to the war room and will be lending two to B-FED, Cheplak said.

After allegations of corruption and the highly-publicized firing of former Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, officials are also hopeful that having outside perspectives will be a large help in of itself. “We’ve got to take a different look at things, whether it’s fresh eyes or just looking at it in a different way,” said Todd Edwards, spokesman for the DEA (who is sending two of their own agents.)

Davis emphasized that police and officials will not “tread water” but rather work actively to restore calm to the city and be an example for the rest of the nation.

“We’re going to lead the pack,” he said. “The nation is undergoing a surge in homicides, and it’s our expectation that before very long, people will look to Baltimore to see how we fought out of it.”

Top officials all seem to agree, though, that the police and federal government cannot achieve this without the continued support of the community. According to Maryland State Rep. Elijah Cummings (D), “The only people who are doing pretty good right now are the morticians” amid the sharp increase in homicides.

“I said it before and I’ll say it again,” he said. “The police need the community and the community needs the police.”

Rawlings-Blake, who has long been advocating for a unified community and police department, has not changed her stance: “If we are not working together, the community and the police together, none of us will see the safe city that we want to see.”

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby shared these sentiments; addressing the community, she said, “Community we need you to step forward; we cannot do this alone. Everyone has a stake in the safety and outcome of our communities.”

Latest News

EY Named a Leader in Managed Security Services and Professional Security Services in Asia-Pacific in Two Studies by IDC

Originally posted on EY is a leader in Asia-Pacific professional security services among 17 vendors EY has been recognized by IDC as a leader in two of its studies: IDC MarketScape: Asia/Pacific Managed Security Services 2020 Vendor Assessment, and IDC MarketScape: Asia/Pacific Professional Security Services – Advisory, Assessment, and Awareness 2020…

March 2020 ADP National Employment Report®, ADP Small Business Report® and ADP National Franchise Report® to be Released on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Originally posted on : ADP Research Institute® will release the March findings of the ADP National Employment Report, ADP Small Business Report and ADP National Franchise Report on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 8:15 a.m. ET. Due to the important contribution that small businesses make to economic growth, ADP Research Institute issues the ADP Small Business Report independently of the ADP National Employment Report. …

EY COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan: Five Ways to Reshape

Originally posted on EY LinkedIn and  EY Responding to COVID-19 COVID-19 is an unfolding event bringing uncertainty to every business. To help you navigate through these unprecedented times, here you’ll find the most relevant EY insights on responding to volatility and building enterprise resilience. Global companies have to be predictive…

Wells Fargo Announces Aid for Customers and Communities Impacted by COVID-19

Comprehensive response includes suspending residential foreclosure sales, fee waivers and acceleration of $175 million in donations to help the most vulnerable Originally published on Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today announced additional comprehensive steps to help customers, communities and employees grappling with the impact of COVID-19. The company…

Cox Commits up to $5M for COVID-19 Testing

Originally posted on The James M. Cox Foundation announced its commitment to provide up to $5 million to Emory Healthcare for purchasing COVID-19 testing equipment. In response to the coronavirus crisis, Emory and Cox are taking the lead with significant action to support the community. The equipment is currently…