Today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) joined U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, along with Congressmen Elijah E. Cummings and Dutch Ruppersberger (all D-Md.), in announcing the selection of Baltimore for the National Public Safety Partnership program. This federal program provides cities and states with support to address violent crime. Baltimore’s congressional delegation has urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to select Baltimore and has questioned the agency’s motives behind excluding the city in the past.
“This new federal investment in Baltimore will help our city take additional steps to reduce violence and save lives by improving intelligence sharing, bolstering public safety technology, and importantly, by enhancing community engagement,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “My colleagues and I in the Baltimore Congressional Delegation will continue working tirelessly to deliver more federal resources to our city and its residents.”
“Baltimore’s participation in the National Public Safety Partnership will strengthen the police department’s efforts to reduce violent crime and fulfill the terms of the 2017 Consent Decree,” said Senator Cardin. “Today's announcement is welcome news for those who want to see better coordination between our federal and city partners, improved relationships between our communities and law enforcement officers and a safer Baltimore.”
“Reducing violent crime in Baltimore requires a coordinated effort to harness effective tools in all parts of the community and at all levels of government. The Public Safety Partnership program will allow the city to access more federal resources and best practices to reduce crime. That’s why – since its inception in 2017 – I have worked to support Baltimore’s inclusion in the program, repeatedly pressing the Department of Justice and Attorney General on this issue. I’m pleased to announce this news, and I will continue fighting for the tools the city needs to improve public safety,” said Senator Van Hollen who, through his role on the Senate Appropriations Committee, also questioned former Attorney General Jeff Sessions on this issue.
“I commend the Department of Justice’s selection of Baltimore as a 2019 Public Safety Partnership site,” said Congressman Cummings. “This partnership will help Baltimore continue its work to keep our community safe, fight crime, and rebuild and strengthen police-community relations so that all residents have the opportunity to reach their highest potential.”
“Crime in Baltimore has reached an unsustainable level and requires an all-hands-on-deck approach – we need every resource we can get at the federal, state and local levels. I applaud Baltimore City’s selection for this valuable federal program that will help reduce the violence and stop the bloodshed,” said Congressman Ruppersberger.
The Public Safety Partnership program provides a framework for the DOJ to enhance its support of state, tribal and local law enforcement officers and prosecutors in the investigation, prosecution and deterrence of violent crime, especially crime related to gun violence, gangs and drug trafficking. It enables cities to consult with and receive coordinated training and technical assistance and an array of resources from DOJ to enhance local violence reduction strategies.