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Local News

In the Media: Hopkins Parternship to Study Violence; Davis Supports New Gun Legislation

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A digest of Baltimore news from local sources.

From the Baltimore Sun: Baltimore Police, Hopkins Researchers Form New Partnership to Study, Prevent Violence

"Baltimore's long battle with violent crime is about to get a little more scientific.

"Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, top criminal justice researchers at the Johns Hopkins University and city leaders plan Monday to announce a partnership to apply the latest research to everyday policing, according to an outline of the plan provided to The Baltimore Sun.

"Police hope the 'Baltimore Collaborative for Violence Prevention' will have an immediate impact on crime rates. Researchers hope it will "create opportunities to advance the science of violence prevention."

"Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, called it 'sort of a service project' to answer a question that has been batted around for months: 'How can Hopkins help Baltimore police in being most effective in combatting violent crime and doing it in a way that repairs the relationship in the community as well?'

"Police have worked with the researchers — including Professor Sheldon Greenberg of the Johns Hopkins School of Education — to identify six projects to prioritize.

"Those projects will focus on assessing the effectiveness of the "War Room" and "B-FED" initiatves launched by Baltimore police and federal law enforcement agencies last year to target violent repeat offenders and gun offenders; deterring illegal gun use and possession; enhancing foot patrols to improve community relations and reduce crime; increasing Baltimore's system for rewarding residents who provide tips to police; coordinating a summit between district commanders; and improving the Police Department's recruitment efforts.

"The partnership has been funded for a year with $250,000 from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and $250,000 from the Abell Foundation. The Annie E. Casey Foundation has committed another $250,000 for 2017."

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From the Baltimore Sun: Baltimore Police Chief Wants Mandatory Jail Time for Carrying Loaded, Illegal Guns

"Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis wants the General Assembly to pass legislation requiring that people who are caught with a loaded handgun be locked up for at least a year.

"As Baltimore battles a deadly surge in gun violence, Davis and two lawmakers from the city are pushing a bill to dramatically enhance the penalty, statewide, for carrying a loaded, illegal gun.

"The legislation would convert the current sentence of up to 30 days to a mandatory year or more in jail. A second offense would be a felony that would require at least five years behind bars. The bill would strip from judges the discretion to reduce those sentences.

"It would penalize a person for possessing a loaded gun illegally even if he or she committed no other crime.

"The idea of levying harsher penalties on criminals is a shift from prior efforts at gun restrictions in the state, which have focused on restricting firearm sales. And the plan departs from a criminal justice policy trend of avoiding strict mandatory minimum sentences."

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From the Washington Post: Edwards, Van Hollen Agree to Four Debates in Race for Md. Senate Seat

"The Democratic candidates vying to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) announced Friday that they have agreed to four debates to be broadcast on television and radio in the weeks before the April primary.

"U.S. Reps. Donna F. Edwards and her House colleague Rep. Chris Van Hollen are competing for the Democratic nomination to fill Mikulski’s seat.

"They have sparred from afar, attacking each other on various policy stances, and appeared together at a National Organization for Women forum in May.

"In October, Edwards challenged Van Hollen to six debates. The campaigns ultimately developed a plan for four debates, two of which will be scheduled later. They announced details of two debates on Friday in addition to two upcoming candidate forums:

- March 18: A debate at noon on WAMU “The Kojo Nnamdi Show”: The Politics Hour Radio;

- March 18: A forum at the Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Democratic Club

- March 25: a televised debate sponsored by the University of Baltimore, League of Women Voters, The Baltimore Sun and WJZ-TV;

- April 5: a forum sponsored by the NARFE Maryland Federation, the Business and Professional Women’s Association Forum

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