Governor Martin O'Malley joined Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld, III today to announce three public safety grants totaling $7.1 million to help keep Baltimore City residents safe. The governor made the announcement during a news conference in the Sandtown neighborhood, as part of "Capital for a Day" activities in Baltimore. Over the past three years, innovative public safety partnerships and dedicated law enforcement has driven down violent crime 11.8 percent statewide, including a near-11 percent decline in Baltimore City.
"There is no more solemn obligation we have as public servants, than to protect the public safety," said Governor O'Malley. "We all owe the men and women of our police departments a debt of gratitude for their work keeping the people of Maryland safe. These grants will not only help strengthen the partnership between the State and the City bringing about positive change in city neighborhoods, but it will further provide the necessary resources for our officers to keep Baltimore safe."
"The grants announced today will support some of the Police Department's innovative and effective crime fighting and community policing initiatives," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "Governor O'Malley is aware of what works best for the people of Baltimore. Supporting community-based strategies to reduce crime will make our neighborhoods safer and build strong relationships between residents and the police."
The grants include:
* $2 million Neighborhood Community Policing grant to fund 25 Neighborhood Service Officers who work with community groups and neighborhood organizations in activities such as Citizens on Patrol and Operation Crime Watch.
* $2.7 million to fund neighborhood foot patrol, providing officers on the street highly-visible to criminals and welcomed by neighborhood residents.
* $2.4 million for the Violent Crime Reduction-Drug Interdiction Initiative. These funds pay for seven sergeants and 21 detectives who mount an aggressive response to open air drug markets and the violence they foster.
"This much needed funding will provide the BPD with critical resources to continue our progress in reducing violent crime and significantly aide our efforts in getting bad guys off city streets," said Commissioner Bealefeld.
Between 2007 through 2009 the State, through the Governor' Office of Crime Control and Prevention, has provided public safety grants totaling $45,224,017 to Baltimore, resulting in historic reductions in crime. Over the last three years total crime in Baltimore has dropped 10 percent, including a 10.8 percent reduction in violent crime and a 9.8 percent reduction in property crime.