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  • Writer's pictureScott Shellenberger

City and county residents share concerns at joint public safety town hall

By Kim Dacey | WBALTV11 • November 29, 2023 | Original Source

BALTIMORE — Carjackings, gun violence and an increase in juvenile crime were some of the topics at a joint Baltimore City-Baltimore County public safety forum Tuesday night.

Many residents who attended said they don't feel safe in their neighborhoods.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley and Baltimore County Police Chief Robert McCullough attended. They did not speak with the media but did take part in the discussion.

Donna Tallent, 72, addressed the panel, explaining she was carjacked last week after living in her neighborhood just over the city-county line for 43 years.

"I want these children prosecuted. I want something to happen. I don't want them to get slapped on the wrist and sent home to mommy and daddy, who are not going to take care of it," she said.

Tallent said she was unloading her car when two people approached her.

"I saw a pistol in his hand and he said, 'Give me your keys, give me your keys,' and the next thing I know, he hit me in the head and I went down," she said.

Tallent spent a day in the hospital with a concussion. Her black eye is still noticeable.

She and others spoke out Tuesday evening to a panel of city and county officials about their safety concerns.

"We're living in fear in the city and we want things to change, so we're hoping that after this meeting, there will be some change," city resident Tammy Swann said.

"Maybe this will bring some attention and make things better. We don't feel safe right now. That's why we're here," city resident Dorie Newton said.

Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger addressed the issue of juvenile crime and said Maryland needs stricter laws and more funding.

"What we need to do is put money in the juvenile justice system, because if we can help that juvenile and family when they steal a car at 14 (years old), then I don't have to sit with the victim of a homicide when they're 18," Shellenberger said.

As for Donna Tallent, police found her car, crashed. They arrested a 15 and 16-year-old. She's hoping they will be held accountable for the pain they caused her and her family.

"These are 15 and 16-year-old kids that know better. I'm just absolutely furious that they can't take care of this situation," she said.

Chief McCullough told Tallent the 15-year-old is still in custody, and the 16-year-old was waived to adult status.


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