Feds give Baltimore area $4.6M for public safety initiatives
The Associated Press
The city of Baltimore got a needed boost in federal funding to fight crime when Maryland's congressional delegation announced a $4.6 million package Monday of grants for public safety initiatives for the region.
The city will receive more than $2.9 million, while the rest of the money provided through the U.S. Department of Justice will go to surrounding Baltimore County and other stakeholders. Part of the city's money is meant to help law enforcement identify and track guns, support children who are crime victims of the opioid crisis and combat elder abuse.
The announcement comes as the city has seen one of its most violent years on record, tallying 327 homicides so far. That's up from 309 in 2018.
“We know this is a top issue for people in this region,” said U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, a Democrat whose district includes parts of Baltimore and Baltimore County. “People want to feel safe. They want to feel safe in their homes, they want to feel safe on the streets, they want to feel safe when they go to public events.”
Baltimore's share of grants also will fund efforts at the state's attorney's office to address wrongful convictions.
The county is expected to use part of the money to assist crime victims going through the criminal justice system, while the University of Maryland-Baltimore will receive more than $43,000 for officer-worn cameras.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the funding will add "capacity” to the department and will allow it to work more collaboratively with other agencies to identify where guns are coming from and get them off the streets.