As a homicide survivor and attorney, Nicole Harris-Crest has experienced the stinging impact crime has on our communities and families. She will use that knowledge to combat crime and take back the streets of Baltimore.
- In connection with the Rawlings-Blake administration, Nicole advocated for stiffer sentencing for illegal gun offenders. Offering emotional testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Nicole was vital to the passage of legislation that provides tougher sentencing options for felons in possession of firearms who have previous convictions for a violent crime or drug felony. The legislation created a tougher sentencing range of five years minimum to 15 years maximum and closed a loophole that exempted rifles and shotguns.
- As Chief of External Affairs in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, Nicole reports directly to the State’s Attorney. She manages four divisions within the agency, including Victim and Witness Services, Crime Control Prevention, Community Engagement, and Communications. Nicole supports victims of crime, creates programs to reduce crime, and educates the community regarding the criminal justice system.
- Nicole has expunged the records of dozens of first-time, nonviolent drug offenders and paired them with mental health counseling, workforce development training, and careers to build promising futures. This provides offenders with a second-chance opportunity to rebuild their lives and contribute to society.
- Nicole raised more than $50,000 last year to provide workforce development, educational resources, literacy programs, and safe and engaging activities for more than 1,200 city youths.
Nicole will use her passion for the community, legal background, and personal experience as a homicide survivor to help take back our city by advocating for the following measures:
The Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) must adopt a community policing model that re-engages with the community it has sworn to protect and serve.
CULTURAL SENSITIVITY AND DIVERSITY TRAINING
Officers must undergo diversity and sensitivity training to appreciate, respect, and meet the needs of the communities they serve.
Neighborhoods need more foot patrol officers deployed on the streets to build relationships with residents and deter criminal activity.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS AND CHURCH CLERGY
BPD must partner with grassroots organizations to seek the root cause of crime and provide resources, workforce development training, mental health counseling, jobs, and recreational opportunities for youth to deter crime and build viable citizens.
RESOURCES TO ADDRESS SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Substance abuse is a leading cause of violent crimes as well as a public health crisis. We must recognize substance abuse as a disease, and instead of criminalizing this issue provide abusers with resources, support, and counseling to fight this illness.