BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A year into his first term, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott released an action plan he said will increase public safety, provide more opportunities for young Baltimoreans and build city neighborhoods with an eye toward equity.
"To put our city on a new path, my administration will need to operate with greater urgency, transparency, accountability, and commitment to equity than ever before," Scott wrote in the introduction to the document. "This Action Plan represents my continued and very personal commitment to work tirelessly every day on your behalf, in strong partnership and coordination across my administration."
Scott's office also published a website for residents to track the administration's progress.
"The plan will be updated quarterly, allowing the public to hold us accountable to progress on the ambitious goals we are setting out to accomplish," Scott said during a virtual address on Wednesday. "I invite you to follow along with our progress and hold my administration accountable as we prove that a new way forward is possible for Baltimore."
In the face of seven straight years of 300 or more homicides in the city and 954 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2020, Scott said he would like to expand services for victims of shootings, interpersonal violence, sexual assault, child abuse and human trafficking and develop new forums for residents to meet with city leadership to discuss concerns over public safety.
"I'm pissed off, probably more pissed off than anyone that we've had more homicides in the City of Baltimore this year than we've had last year--that we're up 3%," Scott told WJZ.
The Scott administration is in the process of investing in violence intervention groups, such as Safe Streets, and developing a group violence reduction strategy, according to the tracker.
City residents along Greenmount Avenue expressed varying degrees of patience with the mayor's crime plan.
"He's doing the best he can. He can't do it by himself," Danny Brown said. "It's going to take more than him to fix the crime. I've never seen Baltimore this bad."
Sherry Powell said she feels the mayor has a lot more work to do.
"They need more police to stop these crimes and these unwanted shootings, killing kids," Powell said.
To reach Baltimore City children and teens, the mayor plans to establish councils at recreation centers "to ensure youth perspectives are reflected in programming and activity decisions," hold quarterly missions with youth leaders in City Hall and Baltimore City Schools, and have city officials regularly attend career days and classroom visits.
"We're stepping up our efforts to reach out to our disconnected youth to ensure that they have the wraparound services and support that they need to realize their true potential," said Scott.
Scott outlined additional plans to offer more free after-school programs at rec centers and to create a Municipal I.D. program to make it easier for students to access libraries and public transportation.
The mayor also proposed launching virtual supermarkets, expanding composting, reviewing the city's "sustainability footprint" and other measures to develop "clean and healthy communities," and closing the digital divide, supporting seniors and legacy residents, and increasing capital investment in redlined neighborhoods to trigger development in underserved communities.
The plan also includes benchmarks for "responsible stewardship of city resources."
"I am very proud of the roadmap that we have created for what we will achieve together through the rest of this term and beyond," Scott said. "I strongly believe that to make progress we must set ambitious goals and work every day to achieve them."
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