Baltimore City is wrestling with multiple public health crises: the global COVID-19 pandemic and local epidemics of gun violence and preventable overdose deaths. Since 2015, Baltimore has seen more than 300 homicides per year—the overwhelming majority of which were gun-related. In 2020, there were 954 opioid-related overdose deaths in Baltimore.
Historically, Baltimore has over-relied on the 3Ps – policing, prosecutions, and prisons – in an attempt to reduce violence and strengthen community safety. This strategy has not only failed to yield long- term results, it has also come at an extremely high social cost to many of our most vulnerable communities.
Never before has Baltimore developed a holistic public safety strategy, one that aims to treat gun violence as a public health crisis and operationalizes what Baltimore residents want to see from their City government. Furthermore, the City has never developed a multi-year plan to reduce violence in a sustainable way over time, not just for a year or two.