BALTIMORE — Gov. Larry Hogan (R) received input and thoughts, particularly about what can be down about the violent crime situation in Baltimore City, from community leaders during breakfast at Broadway Diner on Feb. 3.
“I’m happy to be here and get input and answer questions that you may have,” Hogan said.
The concerns from community leaders about violence and the murder rate in Baltimore City are concerns Hogan hears everyday, and talked about in his violence crime packages, which he discussed during his State Address on Wednesday.
Baltimore’s sqeegee boys were mentioned, although there was more of a discussion of violence crime, shootings and murders.
“It’s a problem,” Hogan said.
There are programs organized to help get squeegee boys off the streets and into a solid job or career path, however Hogans said some of these squeegee kids make $40 or $50 an hour “harassing people on the street,” and its hard to replace that with a job.
“It’s keeping people from coming into the city because they’re tired of being harassed,” Hogan noted.
Baltimore City has received $1 billion dollars to go towards public safety, and Hogan said his administration just put $2 million more into Marilyn Mosby’s budget in the past couple of weeks.
More money has been put into the Attorney General budgets, the U.S. Attorney’s budget because “we have to do more to prosecute violent crime in the city,” Hogan said.
Hogan is hopeful that Mosby will agree to work together with state officials, so they can get local, state and federal prosecutors all working on the issue of actually prosecuting violent criminals and putting them in jail.
Union Baptist Church pastor, Dr. Alvin C. Hathaway, Sr. said the conversation between community leaders and Hogan was it was an honest, frank conversation.
Hogan indicated that he was concerned he was placing money in areas that aren’t helping the crime rate in Baltimore City, according to Hathaway.
“I think we as a community need to make certain that those monies are expended in a way that actually accomplish what we want to do, which is reduce crime,” Hathaway said. “Violent crimes are impacting tourism, businesses, local residents and the community. It’s something we have to come together on. If we want to save Baltimore, we have act on violent crime.”
According to Hathaway, Hogan is a model of a governor willing to listen, instead of demand.
“I thinks it’s a model that other political leaders should adopt as well, instead of coming to someone and telling them what do, they should listen to those really involved in the matter,” Hathaways said.
The Safety Chair of the Patterson Park Neighborhood Association, Arch Mckown said Hogan and the community agreed on a lot of the same things during the discussion.
“I was impressed that he seemed to grasp the ideas of the underlying causes of crime, which include economic opportunities, access to health care, education, jobs, all of that is apart of the crime issue,” Mckown said. “Most homicides are committed by a select few. Often they are repeat offenders and they’re not getting locked up as they should. There’s a lot of aspects to it but it’s all fixable.”
Everyone is effected by public safety, so it’s important that the community comes together as one to address that, Ark Church pastor, J. L. Carter said.
Carter said Hogan is the kind of Republican that understands that crime effects not only Democrats but Republicans as well.
Hogan and community members don’t want mass incarceration, implemented by Bill Clinton, nor zero tolerance policing, implemented by former Baltimore Mayor, Martin O’Malley.
“We want holistic methods,” Mckown said.