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Despite Scott’s Motion to Defer, Board of Estimates Approves Aerial Surveillance Program Contract

Despite Scott’s Motion to Defer, Board of Estimates Approves Aerial Surveillance Program Contract 

 

BALTIMORE, MD (April 1, 2020) -- City Council President Brandon Scott released the following statement on the approval of the aerial surveillance pilot program by the Board of Estimates: 

"This morning, the Board of Estimates voted in favor of a contract to launch a second aerial surveillance pilot program in the city, despite my motion to defer until the city lifts its state of emergency mandate during the COVID-19 public health pandemic.

There is no doubt that Baltimore is suffering from a violence epidemic like we have never seen before. Baltimoreans are hurting and fearful of what continues to happen on the streets of our city. So I understand why communities who continuously experience the trauma of losing loved ones will reach out to anything they think might provide some relief. However, gun violence is a disease that needs to be cured, not fought. Unproven experiments and gimmicks designed to simply appease communities in the short term will not provide our residents with the trauma-responsive care that they need and deserve.

Our focus should be on the violent criminals who repeatedly exploit our communities, the flow of illegal guns into our city, and actually beginning to solve the systemic problems that leave so many Baltimoreans hopeless.

Baltimore needs a leader who will strategize with every single one of our city agencies and law enforcement partners to tackle crime in Baltimore with a common mission and unified plan. This plane — especially right now in the midst of a global public health emergency, without true public input and dialogue — is not a smart move for our city.

If we care about saving lives, we have no time to be distracted by questionable solutions. We should be laser focused on solutions such as targeting violent repeat offenders, that have been proven to work in Baltimore and in cities across the country."

Council President Scott and Comptroller Joan Pratt voted "no" on the item. Watch President Scott's remarks here

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