1/23/08 Operation Safe Streets


Marc has said for years that the best way to address drug and gang related violence in Baltimore is to get ex-offenders, those wise men who have been there and come back to tell the tale, to work in outreach with troubled communities.  But there has always seemed to be an institutional and government aversion towards giving money to people who have been in prison.  Maybe things just had to get really, really, really bad before that changed.In 2000, Chicago implemented a program that was developed at the University of Illnois School of Public Health in Chicago.  This program began in  West Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago. Police Beat 1115 was chosen as the first CeaseFirezone in large part because of the high number of shootings.  The idea was to send ex-offenders, faith leader, and other community members into those neighborhoods to offer conflict resolution, help kids get out of gangs, and whatever else it took to save a neighborhood. In the first year of CeaseFire, shootings in beat 1115 dropped by 67%.  In the past few years, CeaseFire has seen continuing success, which you can read about here.

Last year, Mayor Sheila Dixon and the Baltimore City Health Department brought Operation Safe Streets to Baltimore.  It is a program based on CeaseFire, and we’re hearing that the pilot neighborhood has seen a tremendous drop in homicides and shootings.  Today at one, we’ll talk with people from that community to learn more.

Join us….


One Response

  1. Why is it nobody is prepared to have a discussion about the availablity of guns in the USA? Even in Mark’s show today he just blew off the gun issue as if it didnt count. Does he really believe that Baltimore residents are more prone to violence than say inner-city people living in poor areas of London or Paris?
    Anyone who has been to the UK will know that the Brits are actually much more aggressive than average Americans. Watch the street fights when the clubs & pubs close – go to a football match & watch the hooligans.
    The big difference is the availablity of guns. There are still turf wars in London over drugs, people ‘dissing’ their neighbors & girlfriends etc There is just as much (if not more) endemic violence in the community but it is the lack of guns that keeps the murder rate down It is much harder to hurt someone with your fists or a knife than just pop someone with a gun. Even in London statistics have shown that it is the increasing availablity of guns that is causing the increasing number of violent deaths – there is a corrolation so lets talk about it

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