Baltimore, MD - Sept. 20, 2023 - In a powerful display of community solidarity, hundreds of Baltimore City and County residents gathered at a highly-anticipated Public Safety Town Hall on a crisp evening. Hosted by Councilman Yitzy Schleifer and Councilman Izzy Patoka, the event aimed to confront the recent surge in criminal activity straddling both sides of the city-county border. The event brought together not only concerned citizens but also top law enforcement officials, including Baltimore City Police Commissioner Richard Worley, Baltimore County Police Chief Robert McCullough, State's Attorneys Ivan Bates and Scott Shellenberger, and Sheriff Sam Cogan.

The turnout for the event underscored the pressing nature of the issue at hand. Residents from diverse backgrounds and neighborhoods were eager to engage with their elected officials and public safety partners, seeking answers and solutions to the recent uptick in crime. The shared sentiment among attendees was one of concern but also a commitment to making their communities safer.

Councilman Yitzy Schleifer, who played a pivotal role in organizing the town hall, opened the event by acknowledging the community's fears and emphasizing the importance of coming together to address these challenges. He stated, "We are all in this together, regardless of which side of the city-county line we live on. It's only through unity and collaboration that we can effectively combat the rise in crime."

Izzy Patoka, his co-host, echoed these sentiments, highlighting the need for transparency and open communication between the community and law enforcement agencies. "We are here to ensure that your voices are heard," Patoka affirmed, setting the tone for the evening.

The audience had the opportunity to engage directly with their public safety partners and elected leaders during a Q&A session. Baltimore City Police Commissioner Richard Worley assured residents that they were working tirelessly to address the situation. He stressed the importance of community policing and encouraged citizens to report any suspicious activity promptly.

Baltimore County Police Chief Robert McCullough emphasized the collaborative efforts between city and county law enforcement agencies. "Crime knows no borders, and our commitment to protecting every citizen, no matter where they live, remains unwavering," McCullough stated.

State Attorneys Ivan Bates and Scott Shellenberger outlined their respective strategies for prosecuting offenders and supporting victims. They discussed the importance of diverting youth away from criminal activity through mentorship and community programs.

Sheriff Sam Cogan assured residents of his commitment to public safety. He discussed the various initiatives undertaken by his office to maintain law and order.

The questions from residents ranged from concerns about police presence in specific neighborhoods to strategies for tackling juvenile crime. Many attendees left the town hall feeling more informed and hopeful that their elected leaders and public safety partners were listening to their concerns.

In conclusion, the Public Safety Town Hall hosted by Councilman Yitzy Schleifer and Izzy Patoka was a significant step towards addressing the recent uptick in crime across the city-county border. It showcased the power of community engagement and collaboration between citizens, elected officials, and law enforcement agencies. While challenges remain, the event provided a platform for residents to voice their concerns and receive assurances that their safety is a top priority. As Baltimore City and County continue to work together, it is hoped that this unity will lead to safer communities for all residents.