Baltimore has suffered from a rise in violence and murder rates, leading the city Mayor to ask the FBI for reinforcements to help restore law and order.
The city has had 101 murders already this year, making 2017 the most violent year so far in two decades. The local government has warned that the violence could increase during the summer months.
Mayor Catherine Pugh spoke at a news conference to explain her decision to call in federal reinforcement, which will join local police officers to bring down crime. “Murder is out of control. There are too many guns on the streets. We’re looking for all the help we can get,” Pugh said.
As reported in the Daily Caller:
On top of an over 30 percent increase in murders, the city is also experiencing a shortage in police officers. The city is operating with the lowest number of officers in about a decade — 2,500 police officers. Usually, the department has 2,900 officers.
“You get in a crisis mode like we’re in right now with crime out of control and not enough uniformed officers on the street, I would say it’s at a crisis point,” Baltimore’s Fraternal Order of Police President Lt. Gene Ryan said. The department is paying out $1 million in overtime just to make up for the difference.
The violence has largely been attributed to gang violence, with gun crime committed by repeat offenders predicted to be the major target of the police and FBI investigations.