Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and city leaders gathered Tuesday to provide an update on the city’s Community Violence Reduction Ecosystem program.
It’s an initiative the mayor said has led to a 19% reduction in homicides and an 18% reduction in nonfatal shootings since the onset of the program in 2022.
“More simply put, we have to do any and everything and we have to do it together,” Scott said.
The CVI program utilizes a collection of partnerships from community organizations in order to provide youth services aimed at reducing violence.
“We are still losing way too many people to violence, but more specifically young people,” Scott said. “A lack of social emotional development, emotional regulation, emotional intelligence and peaceful conflict resolution skills are at the forefront.”
Scott said the program, which was created nearly a year ago, seeks to help youth with emotional and social development and peaceful conflict-resolution skills.
“It’s terrible out here,” Baltimore resident Ellen Stark said. “I hope it does get better because you have to look over your shoulders and stuff. It’s not safe. I’m scared to bring my grandchildren out.”
The mission is to tackle violence at the root by investing in hospital and school intervention programs and strengthening existing community organizations
“Violence is a disease transmitted in a cycle and it is on us as a community to break the cycle,” said Shantay Jackson, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement.
The ecosystem consists of 44 organizations working to make sure people have access to needed resources.
“It is the ability to bring it all together and to have whole people so that we have a whole families and we have whole communities and we have a whole Baltimore,” said Dr. Sonja Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Schools.
Scott said the city has invested $50 million into building a safer Baltimore.