Baker: ‘We need to do more’ about teen deaths

Nick Iannelli,

WASHINGTON – Senseless and outrageous is how Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker describes recent violence sweeping across county neighborhoods.

In just six months, six students in the county’s public schools system have been killed in separate incidents.

All the teens’ deaths occurred in this school year.

“They’re just crimes that don’t make any sense,” Baker says.

Authorities and prosecutors are working together to crack down on this particular type of youth violence, but Baker is working to form a divided approach.

“We can’t arrest our way out of these problems. We’ll have to go outside of these schools and into these families,” Baker says.

Baker is pleading with faith and other local leaders to step forward and help improve the lives of young people living in high crime areas.

“We need to do more. It has to be more than just what the police are doing. It has to be us reaching out there, getting psychological counseling and having job opportunities,” Baker says.

Baker says he’s deeply disturbed about the recent violence, giving his condolences to families affected and noting he has children who grew up in the school district.

He promises justice will be done.

Still, the county executive says the region is safe – with crime on its way down.

“We’re closing these cases, and we’re getting prosecution.”

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(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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