Baltimore ‘Safe Streets’ Work Suspended After Police Find Illegal Guns, Drugs
The investigation began when police were called at approximately 2:26am by a man who had just been robbed at gun point by two men in a grey SUV. The SUV was later spotted by officers, near the 2300 block of E. Monument. Officers also observed men dart into the Safe Streets office located there.
Upon raiding the office, guns, heroine, cocaine, scales and cutting agents were among some of the illegal items discovered.
Police said a robbery investigation led them to the office, and two employees were among those arrested. The suspension sidelines the program’s work in East Baltimore at a time when gun violence has been spiking.
Safe Streets, a grant-funded program under the city’s Health Department, uses ex-felons in an effort to stem crime. The program has been lauded for keeping violence at a minimum in the four neighborhoods where it operates, and some officials have urged its replication across the city.
The program has had trouble in the past, with offices previously suspended in 2010 and 2013 amid criminal allegations against employees. It has also faced criticism over its recruiting practices.
The Mayor believes this program, using ex-cons, is going to continue to reduce violence in the streets. Somehow, this doesn’t quite add up. Armed robbery by employees sounds like a bit of escalation rather than reduction. This sound logic comes from the office that set up zones for rioting not long ago.