Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said the murder rate in her city is "out of control" — and she wants the federal government to come in and fix it.
“There are too many guns on the streets. We’re looking for all the help we can get,” Pugh said Wednesday during a news conference.
Baltimore has had more murders in the first four months of the year than during the same time period of any year going back nearly 20 years. The number of murders in Baltimore so far this year is 101. That's up 30 percent from last year.
And with summer just around the corner, the city's leaders are sounding the alarm.
"The summers in Baltimore tend to be very violent," said Anthony McCarthy, a Pugh spokesman. "The mayor wants to get a handle on all the murders, the flood of guns on the streets and the gang activity."
As if the city's skyrocketing murder rate weren't high enough, though, Baltimore also now has another problem on its hands. During the 2000s, there were always at least 2,900 police officers on the Baltimore Police Department's payroll. Today, that number is 2,500.
Along with the recent rise in violence, Baltimore just can't seem to keep enough officers to patrol the streets. According to WJZ-TV, the department is having trouble competing with police departments in Baltimore's suburbs and federal law enforcement agencies in nearby Washington, D.C.
The city's taxpayers are feeling the strain, too. Because of the police shortage, the city is currently doling out $1 million per month in overtime pay for officers.
“You get in a crisis mode like we’re in right now with crime out of control and not enough uniformed officers on the street, I would say it’s at a crisis point," Lt. Gene Ryan, president of Baltimore's Fraternal Order of Police, said, according to WJZ-TV.
(H/T: Daily Caller)