The “Safe Streets” anti-violence program apparently had a novel approach to stopping the proliferation of illegal guns and drugs in East Baltimore, but the police seem to be frowning on their idea of seeing how much of each they could stockpile:
City officials have suspended operations of the Safe Streets anti-violence program in East Baltimore after police officers found seven guns and drugs stashed inside the Monument Street office.
Police said a robbery investigation led them to the office, and two employees were among those arrested. The suspension sidelines the program’s work in East Baltimore at a time when gun violence has been spiking.
Safe Streets, a grant-funded program under the city’s Health Department, uses ex-felons in an effort to stem crime. The program has been lauded for keeping violence at a minimum in the four neighborhoods where it operates, and some officials have urged its replication across the city.
The program has had trouble in the past, with offices previously suspended in 2010 and 2013 amid criminal allegations against employees. It has also faced criticism over its recruiting practices.
I dunno. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s a bad idea to have people who “formerly” sold drugs and and shot people committing crimes counseling others who are involved in the same sort of criminal behavior. That’s kind of like trusting a pharmacist nicknamed “Shakes,” isn’t it?
The reporters covering the story, Kevin Rector and Justin Fenton, seems to think that suspension of the “Safe Streets”program is going to make crime worse.
The thought that program was adding to gang violence doesn’t seem to have crossed their minds.