- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 17, 2021

The city of Baltimore is reeling, punched in the gut by staggering crime rates, and still wrestling with what seems like a never-ending police corruption investigation.

Baltimore‘s chief prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, who handled the controversial Freddie Gray homicide in 2015, said earlier this month that the city needs to revisit at least 790 tainted cases tied to dirty cops.

None of this sits well as far as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is concerned.

That’s why the Republican governor on Friday rightly slapped the politics of crime playing out in Charm City, in addition to outlining his $150 million “Re-Fund the Police Initiative” for state and local police agencies.

The Hogan initiative calls for: 

  • $45 million to increase police aid to local jurisdictions by 50% statewide, including a pro-rata share for Baltimore.
  • $50 million in raises and hiring bonuses to ensure competitive compensation at state police agencies.
  • $24 million to create a new Accountability Resources Fund, which will be used to provide more body cams, deescalation training and other critical tools for state and local police agencies.
  • $1 million for both the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association and the Maryland Sheriffs’ Association to bolster operational training and support.
  • $10 million in Neighborhood Safety Grants to support hardware upgrades, lighting, cameras and increased security services for community organizations, business districts via the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
  • A 100% state-funded match for all Crime Stoppers rewards that lead to arrests.

The “Re-Fund the Police Initiative” also allots funds for victim protection:

  • $14 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to restore drastic cuts by Congress to Victims of Crimes Act (VOCA) funding for victim services providers.
  • $6 million to restore cuts by the Maryland General Assembly for critical victims programs and initiatives, including the Sexual Assault Reimbursement Unity, the Safe at Home Address Confidentiality Program, the Crisis Intervention Team Center of Excellence, the New Futures Bridge Subsidy Program, the Regional Navigators Program, and Community Service Coordinator.

That Mr. Hogan didn’t hesitate to slap Baltimore as a “poster child for basic failure to stop lawlessness,” he was also quite blunt to name some of the politicians and criminals who shoulder the blame.  

“There’s a prosecutor who refuses to prosecute crime, and there’s a revolving door of repeat offenders who are being let right back onto the streets to shoot people again and again,” he said.

The governor also slammed Baltimore City Councilman Ryan Dorsey, an ambitious Democrat who wants to defund law enforcement.

“Just last week, a Baltimore City councilman actually called for abolishing the police department,” Mr. Hogan said, referencing several tweets from Mr. Dorsey doubling down on his call to abolish and disband the Baltimore Police Department. “Trying to reduce crime by defunding police is dangerous, radical, far-left lunacy.”

Baltimore movers and shakers should be thanking the Hogan administration for trying to neutralize the “far-left lunacy” in Baltimore.

After all, David Simon’s “We Own This City” chronicles the rise and fall of Baltimore P.D.’s Gun Trace Task Force. The miniseries is set to air on HBO, and Simon fans know well the D.C. native delves into police procedure, which means his latest take on Baltimore crime and police corruption could again turn Baltimore into naked city — or not.

Whichever, Baltimore dwellers have the Hogan administration to thank for wielding several of the brooms their leaders have left propped in the corners of city hall.

• Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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