Johns Hopkins researchers have formed a new partnership with Baltimore City Police to attack the city’s culture of violent crime.
Led by the School of Education’s Sheldon Greenberg and School of Public Health’s Daniel Webster, the Baltimore Collaborative for Violence Prevention will bring together some of the nation’s leading researchers to evaluate crime-fighting strategies and develop new interventions to enhance public safety efforts.
In announcing the initiative at a recent press conference at Baltimore police headquarters, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, “Our aim is a substantial reduction in the number of violent crimes, and to promote, develop and evaluate new evidence-based strategies to help us achieve that goal.” The 344 homicides in 2015 were the most per capita in the city’s history.
Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, a 2013 graduate of the Public Safety Leadership program at the School of Education, praised the collaborative and identified a number projects that will get immediate attention, such as finding ways to reduce illegal gun availability, improving incentives for citizens to provide crime-solving information to police and an evaluation of existing policing strategies, including the “War Room” and B-Fed Homicide Reduction Task Force.
The commissioner also announced that police recruits will get academic training on foot patrols. “We will be the only district in the country to offer this type of preparation for new police trainees,” said Davis. The program was developed in cooperation with PSL’s Sheldon Greenberg, a recognized national leader in police protocols and procedures.
Greenberg, a former police officer, will also be organizing a summit of the city’s nine district commanders. “These leaders are on the front lines of the crime fight and are closest to the citizens. They are a critical part of the crime-fighting strategy,” said Greenberg. He will serve as coordinator, facilitator and aide to the group to maximize its impact on improving policing.
The partnership has been funded for a year with $250,000 from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and $250,000 from the Abell Foundation. The Annie E. Casey Foundation has committed another $250,000 for 2017.
Watch the press conference here.