Editor’s note: The following commentary was recorded at WBAL News Radio 1090 on November 30, 2017.
This week, Baltimore will bury a fallen hero. Police Detective Sean Suiter was tragically gunned down two weeks ago in the line of duty.
The career police officer became Baltimore’s 309th homicide victim this year as he worked an unsolved triple-murder case. In a city that seems to have become immune to news of another homicide, Suiter’s senseless murder stunned the entire city. His loss is a tremendous one for his family, friends and fellow officers.
Unfortunately, his death serves as a bitter reminder that Baltimore – which has so much going for it – is being held back due to the scourge of homicides and other violent crimes.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh recently proclaimed “Violence is out of control.” The business community applauds the mayor for publicly acknowledging the public safety crisis and announcing that the city will take new steps to address the violence. Short and long-term crime fighting strategies – and a sense of urgency – are needed. The most basic responsibility of any government is to provide for the safety of its citizens. Government leaders must be held accountable for reducing violent crime and homicides.
But it will take more – the business, philanthropic and faith based communities and citizens in the neighborhoods must roll up their sleeves, too. It’s going to take everyone to be “all in” to effectively address violent crime in Baltimore.
But it’s high time we do so and put this affliction of violence behind us.
I’m Don Fry, President & CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee.