Katie Baker
For Immediate Release

VIDEO: Gansler and Hollingsworth Release Safe Maryland Plan

Gansler will add 1,000 police across state, install 10,000 lights in Baltimore

Watch the full press conference HERE.

BALTIMORE — Former Attorney General Doug Gansler and former Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, who are running for governor and lieutenant governor, today formally rolled out their Safe Maryland plan at a press conference outside Baltimore City Hall.

The pair were joined at the event by Baltimore City State’s Attorney Candidate Thiru Vignarajah and Rev. Al Gwynn of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.

“It’s the one issue that is on everybody’s minds: crime in Baltimore City,” said Gansler, who has served as a federal prosecutor and as Montgomery County State’s Attorney. “Baltimore is a beautiful, wonderful city that has not realized its promise and cannot realize its promise until we make it safe. Right now we’re in a city that has almost 400 murders a year. People sit at a red light wondering whether they are going to be the next victim of a carjacking or not, and there is no other person running right now who has a scintilla of experience in criminal justice. We want to make sure we have someone who understands the problem, who is laser-focused on the problem, and who is making sure we solve the problem by bringing crime down and justice up. It’s a pretty binary choice. If you want to eradicate crime, if you want to make Baltimore safe, if you want to solve the murders that are outstanding – only 41 percent are solved now – we ask for your support. If you are satisfied with 400 murders a year and being the person at the red light wondering if you are going to be the next carjacking victim, you should probably consider voting for someone else.”

“I’m excited about partnering with Doug not just because he knows how to address crime but because he knows that the main ingredient to building a safe community is by investing deeply and equitably in the things those communities need,” said Hollingsworth. “Resources like jobs, housing, transportation, education and a strong local economy. Baltimore is a jewel in Maryland’s crown. And we have to treat it like the jewel that it is. And unfortunately for too many years Baltimore and its people have been neglected. And it is time for Baltimore to have partners in the statehouse who understand the importance and the richness of Baltimore’s history, the cultural richness of its communities, and are committed to making sure that maintains as it builds a safer environment. We know that the solutions of the 90s did not work to address public safety. What we are proposing is a radically different alternative. Where the two of us are focused is on building safe communities with an attention to justice. We’ve seen far too long that communities that are built safe usually means that those who are living there can no longer afford to live there. But when we talk about making Maryland safer, when we talk about making Baltimore safer, we are talking about making Baltimore safer for Baltimoreans so that everyday people can be proud to live in the city of Baltimore.”

“I am so grateful that the former Attorney General has put crime in Baltimore front and center. Not because I want that to be the top agenda item for the governor, but because it has to be,” said Vignarajah. “This city is in crisis. It’s been in crisis for years. If we think we can do it alone, if we think we can do it without fresh ideas, without additional resources, without partnerships with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, with the Governor’s Office, you’re not paying attention. You’re not realizing that we have tried to pretend like things are under control here in Baltimore for years. They’re not. Our murder rate is out of control. Our carjackings, our burglaries, our robberies are also setting records for the nation. And I’m so encouraged to hear someone with Mr. Gansler’s background, with his expertise in crime, making this issue front and center. Because if you make crime part of your agenda, it becomes part of your problem to solve. That is what leaders have to do.”

Highlights of the plan, which can be read in full at safemaryland.cominclude:

  • Hire 1,000 more well-paid and well-trained police officers on the streets across the state. These officers will be trained in de-escalation tactics.
  • Install 10,000 street lights in Baltimore City
  • Re-establish the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
  • Implement community prosecution, which is prosecuting by neighborhood instead of by crime
  • Meaningful drug courts and domestic violence courts in all 24 of Maryland’s jurisdictions
  • Put every police shooting in front of a grand jury
  • Clear out stale warrants
  • Papering, so prosecutors are involved in the front-end of cases
  • Work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to take all gun cases. Anyone who is a convicted felon who commits a gun crime should go to federal court where there are mandatory-minimums
  • Put well-trained School Resource Officers in every school
  • Ensure mental health professionals are available for all first responders

Former Hyattsville Mayor and Lt. Governor candidate Candace Hollingsworth speaks to reporters about how to make Maryland safe at a May 31 press conference in front of Baltimore City Hall.

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