photo of Mayor Brandon Scott in gray suit with other stakeholders behind podium in front of Peace Mobile
Mayor Brandon Scott unveils Baltimore's first ever Peace Mobile. Screenshot from video on Mayor Scott's Facebook page.

Mayor Brandon Scott on Thursday unveiled Baltimore’s first-ever Peace Mobile, which aims to diffuse conflicts and bring resources to where community members are.

The Peace Mobile is a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE) and other community stakeholders.

“A little under a year ago my administration announced that it would be taking a coordinated, trauma-informed approach to victim services in ways that acknowledge the varied and unique needs of victim services and violence across their lifespan and lived experiences, including, for the first time, victims of gun violence,” Scott said at a press conference Thursday morning. “Because we know that every shooting or every violent incident leaves behind a web of trauma for our communities, in our communities as a whole.”

Scott added that the city isn’t waiting for violent incidents to occur in order to act.

“[W]e also understand the need to proactively deliver these resources in order to improve quality of life outcomes for our residents and to help prevent traumatic incidents from occurring in the first place,” he said.

MONSE’s executive director, Shantay Jackson, thanked the many partners that brought the vision of the Peace Mobile to fruition, including the Department of General Services (DGS) for outfitting what used to be the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development Mobile Unit “into a comprehensive resource hub that is representative of the communities that we serve.”

“Gratitude to the State of Maryland for providing us with the grant dollars to bring this vision to life,” Jackson said. “Special thank you to our partners to Life Camp in New York, because their Peace Mobile served as an inspiration for what you’re about to see today.”

Jackson acknowledged the hard work put in over years to accomplish this goal.

“Now let me be really clear when I say that the Peace Mobile isn’t a MONSE idea brought to life,” Jackson said. “For years, Baltimoreans all over our city have been talking about meeting people where they are, have been talking about bringing resources into neighborhoods. And we’ve seen our partner agencies do that time and time again, from the Health Department to the Enoch Pratt Free Library to the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development and so many more partners.”

The new mobile unit will build upon those efforts and aims to create a space for hope and healing, Jackson said.

“Baltimore’s Peace Mobile is unique in that it’s meant to serve as a symbol of hope,” she said. “A place where regardless of your need, you’ll be connected to services. A place where healing can begin after a traumatic event. What better way to kick off Gun Violence Awareness Month than this?”

Jackson spoke of hope as something that has to be continually fostered daily, not just in the aftermath of a trauma.

“For 45 days we’re going to be serving residents within the six square blocks of Belair Road, Parkside Drive, Moravia Park Drive, and Frankford Road,” Jackson explained. Then the Peace Mobile is expected to tour the city, or go where it is needed based, reacting to the needs of Baltimore residents and events that may occur.

Jackson said the city used data from 211, 311, and 911 to determine what kind of services the Peace Mobile would provide.

“211 tells us what social supports people need. 311 tells us what quality of life issues a neighborhood is encountering. And 911 data tells us what emergency situations have happened in those neighborhoods,” she said.

DGS Director Berke Attila said the DGS fleet was able to customize the Peace Mobile to provide partitioned areas for privacy, a professional sound room, four HDTV televisions, and a PlayStation 5 video game system.

“Looking to the future, DGS will provide full support for this Peace Mobile,” Attila said. “This will include maintaining and repairing this asset, plus storing it at our Central Garage.”

“Our hope is that residents across our city can find solace and peace when they step onboard the Peace Mobile because it’s a place for healing, a place for reconciliation, a place for support,” Jackson said.