RadioOnFire.com - Baltimore's soaring homicide rate has a growing number of residents demanding action. Residents rallied in the west Baltimore neighborhood of Darley Park, which has seen a handful of murders this year, including the death of a 97-year-old man.
They want to the mayor to announce a new comprehensive crime-fighting strategy.
"In the morning, when I leave for work I never know if I will have to run for my life, or use my body to shield my son when he comes home from school," one man said.
Tired of the mounting homicide rate, residents, clergy and community leaders rallied in west Baltimore, demanding a city that's safe, criticizing Mayor Catherine Pugh.
The group, called Build, launched a listening tour and hit the streets of Darley Park. They asked people how crime affects them, and what should be done to stop it.
It is the same neighborhood police canvassed last week after the unsolved death of 97-year-old Waddell Tate, found beaten to death in his home.
"Our leaders are frustrated. They have no new ideas. They need to stop and listen to the citizens of Baltimore," said Bishop Douglas Miles, co-chair of Build.
The mayor's office sent 11 News a memo dated last week, outlining crime strategies already put in place and in the works, some to be announced later in August.
It includes requests for gunshot-detection technology, license plate readers and more help from state police agencies inside city limits. It also includes plans to increase the number of officers on the streets, and expand police presence in violent areas.
Some of the ideas match the demands of Build, which also wants more attention on the bigger picture.
"We got to think about a long-term strategy, for putting people back to work, especially those returning from prison, and so there's no quick fix -- we understand that -- we also need a new level of urgency to this unprecedented level of violence," said the Rev. Andrew Foster Connors, co-chair Build.
Pugh told 11 News she agrees with that getting people back to work is a critical part of her plan. She also said she wants to make sure her plan will be effective, so she's having it reviewed by outside experts.