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Community Asks For Peace As Jury Deliberates In First Freddie Gray Trial

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- With all eyes on Baltimore, many are praying for calm.

Rick Ritter how police are preparing for whatever happens next.

At city police headquarters, an emergency operations center has been set up so they can monitor what's happening on the ground throughout this week.

Commissioner Davis released a letter late Monday night, saying his department will serve as peacekeepers while protecting the entire city.

The fate of Officer William Porter could come as early as Tuesday, and Baltimore City police aren't taking any chances.

Commissioner Kevin Davis released a letter Monday night, saying they will serve as peacekeepers while protecting Baltimore from harm and mayhem.

WJZ's Mary Bubala spoke with the commissioner.

"I was concerned about our preparedness on the heels of the unrest in April and May, and we were just determined then, and remain determined, that's never going to happen to Baltimore again," said Davis.

Barricades now surround city police headquarters. Davis canceled leave for all officers this week, while bringing in additional officers from other departments.

"I definitely do not want to see a repeat of last time. I hope we can be more proactive," said Trenita Henderson, Baltimore City parent and teacher.

His letter follows one city schools sent home with students, making it clear those who participate in any form of violence will face consequences.

Trenita Henderson is one hopeful parent.

"I'm going to hope we don't have that type of reaction so we won't have to worry about the consequences," she said.

In the Penn-North community Monday night, clergy, police and citizens were just some who stood arm-in-arm, praying for things to remain peaceful.

"I'm hoping that justice will prevail, one way or the other, justice will prevail and we will accept the verdict," said Bishop Angel Nunez, Multicultural Prayer Movement.

Arguably one of the biggest verdicts in Baltimore history--with all eyes on Charm City.

"Our children are watching us, the children of this community are watching and learning how you behave when you don't get your way," said Erica Altson, director of Penn-North Community Outreach.

Baltimore County schools canceled all field trips into the city this week.

Commissioner Davis also added in that letter: "We refuse to surrender to the low expectations of those who wish to see us fail."

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