BALTIMORE — While in town for a Baltimore Orioles game Tuesday evening, Gov. Larry Hogan addressed the current crime climate in Baltimore.
Hogan talked about what he said is working and what's not. He stressed the importance of a "strong partnership" on the city, state and federal level.
"It's the No. 1 issue facing the city. We have a lot of issues, but crime, violent crime in particular, is the No. 1 issue we have to address," Hogan said.
Previously, Hogan was critical of the last city and police administration for what he called a lack of urgency to develop a solid crime-fighting plan.
In June, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison announced his micro-zone plan, requiring officers to spend more time patrolling specific zones in the city. Hogan said he's hopeful about the idea, and is looking forward to seeing a more detailed overall plan in the coming weeks.
"They're going to lay out a very detailed crime plan, which they're required to do now at the state in order to get state funding to help them with some of these problems," Hogan said.
In January, Hogan announced a joint violent crime operation center in Baltimore, where 200 officers from 16 agencies focus on targeting gangs.
Tuesday, he said his administration has brought in 500 additional officers to back up the city police force and is doing everything it can to provide more money, and help the city recruit more officers.
Homicides in the city are on track to outpace 2018: 177 compared to 150 at this time last year.
"That's why we have to make sure we get this crime plan from the city. That's why we got to get the legislature to pass our tough crime bill. That's why we got to get the federal and state partners in there backing up the city," Hogan said.
Hogan also said that prosecutors, judges and lawmakers need to get a lot tougher on violent repeat offenders.
In a lot of cases, he said, the same criminals are repeating the same crimes over and over again.