Governor Martin O'Malley today issued the following statement on Baltimore's declining murder rate:
"I'd like to commend the men and women of the Baltimore City Police Department, the neighborhood leaders and citizens of Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Commissioner Fred Bealefeld, Baltimore City State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein, U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, and all of Baltimore's first responders for making significant progress toward creating a safer City.
"Together, with our federal, state and local partners, we have worked to drive down crime in communities across the State. Thanks to our local law enforcement partners in the City, homicides have been driven down by 18 percent -- the lowest level since 1977. Together, we have driven down non-fatal shootings of youth in the City by 67 percent from 2007 to 2011. And thanks to Baltimore's joint warrant initiative last summer, nearly 900 suspects have been taken off the streets.
"There is nothing more important that any of us do in government than protect the public's safety. Though this is a good step in the right direction, there is still more work to do as just one life lost to violent crime is one too many. Together, we can make Baltimore a safer and better place for our children."