ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — On Thursday, Governor Larry Hogan announced $45 million of investments into major violent crime initiatives, but his push to re-fund the police, hasn’t been met without criticism.
Hogan proposed $3.5 million to fund new positions in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and another $6.5 million to expand the Baltimore Police Department’s Warrant Apprehension Task Force.
“Baltimore City leaders will never get control of the out-of-control violence, if they don’t arrest more, prosecute more and give tougher sentences to the most violent criminals,” said Hogan.
While Hogan says investments into public safety is how to address violent crimes, others such as Zakyia Sankara-Jabar, Co-Founder & Co-Director of Racial Justice Now! argues that more policing doesn’t mean more safety, especially to black and brown people.
“Black people are occupied by the police, we’re seen as the object of fear by certain people, and and the police is oftentimes weaponized against our communities,” said Sankara-Jabar.
Supporters of defunding the police like Sankara-Jabar, believe reinvesting into the community and education is a better way to combat crime.
“We want to have people be able to take care of themselves, not commit crimes. of poverty,” said Sankara-Jabar. “A lot of things that we see happening in the community is as a direct result of poverty.”
Hogan also noted during his press conference that the state has invested money in trying to address the root issues of crime such as mental health and workforce development. But Hogan says violent offenders need to be off the street and in jail.
“That’s because the repeat violent offenders are arrested, in some cases 10 to 11 times, convicted three or four times, and they’re still walking the streets shooting more people,” said Hogan.
Hogan also announced an additional $35 million will go towards fully funding victim services providers. As the General Assembly session enters their final few weeks, he also is urging lawmakers to pass the Violent Firearms Offender Act and The Judicial Transparency Act.