Governor pledges money for city sexual assault victims and Safe Streets | WYPR

Governor pledges money for city sexual assault victims and Safe Streets

Aug 18, 2016

Credit Aaron Webb / Flickr / Creative Commons

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is pledging at least $1 million in grants to help groups that serve victims of sexual assault in Baltimore after the Justice Department found the police department's responses to sexual assault "grossly inadequate."

The Republican governor said Thursday that the money represents immediate action to improve services to victims.

The Justice Department sharply criticized Baltimore police for their handling of sexual assault in part of a report released last week that focused on police discrimination against blacks and repeated use of excessive force.

Hogan also announced $500,000 to keep a violence-intervention initiative in the city known as Safe Streets operating.

City Health Commissioner Leana Wen said the program is running a million dollar deficit and would have closed in September without the additional funds.

“Now we have enough money, thanks to Governor Hogan, so that our sites will be in operation until January of this coming year,” she said.

Wen said the funding allows the city’s health department to close the rest of the gap and find “a sustainability plan” for the program.

City Council President Jack Young said he plans on working with Governor Hogan and others to find long term funding for Safe Streets.