Expert discusses strategies combating illegal guns, gun violence

In 2007, Baltimore is on pace to experience more than 300 homicides and ranks as having the second highest homicide rate in the country, gun policy research expert Daniel W. Webster told GBC Public Policy and Legal Affairs Committee on September 20. There were 11,624 gun homicides and 43,592 non-fatal shootings in the U.S. in 2004, said Webster. Nationally, gun violence costs citizens approximately $100 billion each year. Webster is … Continue reading

Gansler: environment, gangs, consumer protection are key issues for AG’s office

Addressing environmental issues, combating gang activity, and engaging in vigilant consumer protection are some of Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler’s top enforcement priorities, he told GBC members on September 17. His top reason for seeking the Attorney General’s office was to protect the environment – particularly to save the Chesapeake Bay, Gansler told more than 100 GBC members and guests who attended a GBC public policy luncheon event at … Continue reading

Health expert voices challenges in Baltimore City

The biggest public health care challenge in Baltimore City is lining up the needs against the resources, according to Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Baltimore City Commissioner of Health. The challenges with drug addiction, HIV prevention, life expectancy, violence, and environmental health are amplified by limited access to public health care, Sharfstein told GBC members at a Health Care Committee meeting on June 12. Public health strategy starts with evidence and data, … Continue reading

Risk-based decision making is key to juvenile services

Risk-based decision-making can make juvenile services more effective, the state’s top juvenile services official told the Greater Baltimore Committee Public Safety and Legal Affairs Committee on May 17. The risk assessment process involves targeting high-risk youth for more services, while under intensive supervision and restrictive custody, and using less costly and restrictive sanctions with lower risk youth, said Donald W. DeVore, secretary, Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS). By identifying … Continue reading

Deputy Police Commissioner cites disconnect in city

A serious disconnect exists between Baltimore City’s criminal justice system and the public,” according to Colonel Frederick Bealefeld III, deputy commissioner of the Baltimore City Police Department. It’s a problem that affects all components of the criminal justice system, including the police, the State’s Attorney’s Office, jurors and judges, Bealefeld told members of the GBC’s Public Safety and Legal Affairs Committee at its March 15 meeting. Current public perceptions are … Continue reading

GBC members briefed on “Ready? Set? Good” disaster preparedness campaign

The Baltimore Metropolitan Council recently conducted an Emergency Preparedness Project to get citizens better prepared for disaster and emergency by increasing a sense of individual responsibility. Jim Williams, associate director, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, briefed members of the GBC Public Safety and Legal Affairs Committee on the “Ready? Set? Good” disaster and emergency preparedness study and campaign. The project assignment was to develop a communication campaign to … Continue reading

State workgroup seeks information from businesses to protect infrastructure

The GBC Public Safety and Legal Affairs Committee is participating in a state workgroup charged with gathering key private-sector infrastructure information for use by the government agencies in formulating homeland security plans. The partnership will try to help bridge the gap between what government wants businesses to produce and what information businesses feel comfortable giving, according to GBC Vice President Devon Dodson. The state created the Government’s Critical Infrastructure and … Continue reading

Hamm: Police helping neighborhoods ‘change value systems’

The Baltimore City Police Department will target 20 high-violence neighborhoods for “safe zone” interventions in 2006 as part of its efforts to combat a 4 percent spike in crime so far this year, Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm told the GBC. The “safe zone” concept employs a combination of concentrated enforcement with community building services and activities to help residents of violence-prone areas regain a neighborhood sense of normalcy and social … Continue reading