Safe Streets is staying open in Baltimore.
The city program that employs ex-offenders as mediators to intervene in potentially violent conflicts was on the chopping block after Gov. Larry Hogan’s office decided to withhold funding that the state legislature approved. The move drew vociferous protests from City Health Commissioner Leana Wen, and surfaced once again yesterday in an AP article detail criticism of Hogan’s actions toward Baltimore.
But on Thursday, Hogan announced that the program would receive $500,000 to remain open. The “bridge funding” keeps Safe Streets open until January, but didn’t promise anything beyond then. In fact, the governor’s office said that the funding is designed to provide time for the city’s next mayor to figure out a funding plan.
“In the coming months, I plan to work with the Governor, city officials and members of Baltimore’s philanthropic community to ensure long-term funding for this important program,” said City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young. Wen issued a statement thanking the governor.
In the same announcement, Hogan also said his administration would provide $1 million in grant funding for organizations that support victims of sexual assault and human trafficking in the city. He said it was a response to the Department of Justice’s report that condemned the Baltimore Police Department’s handling of sexual assault cases. In one of the most infamous scenes of the whole report, an email chain revealed a prosecutor and detective talking about one alleged victim as a “conniving little whore.” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office said Thursday that the office determined the comments were made in 2013 by an employee who no longer works for the prosecutor’s office.
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