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Baltimore Mayor Pledges More Help for 'Safe Streets' After Criticism

After Baltimore's Safe Streets program lost three interrupters to violence last year, many questioned whether the approach was worth it. A new city review acknowledges some of these problems, noting that the program lacked sufficient oversight and training, The Trace reports. “There has historically been a lack of standardized policy coming out of the City government office responsible for the program,” the report says, citing high turnover, consistent trauma, relatively low salaries — with Safe Streets workers earning between $40,000 and $45,000 — and frequent vacancies. Daniel Webster, who co-directs the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions, is working with other researchers on a more complete study of the Safe Streets program that’s expected next year.

Meanwhile, Mayor Brandon Scott pledged reform and creation of a 'community violence intervention ecosystem" He said, “We know that it works, but they haven’t had the support they needed." Scott pledged $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds for Safe Streets and establish more violence prevention resources. The investment would provide more training, mental health support, and other resources like bulletproof vests to Safe Streets workers, while also supporting help for gun violence victims. Scott’s plan includes hospital-based interventions and life coaching for people with a high chance of becoming involved with gun violence, and higher pay for Safe Streets workers.


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