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As Baltimore murders soar anew, mayor talks of a turnaround

As Baltimore murders soar anew, mayor talks of a turnaround

BALTIMORE (AP) - With Baltimore homicides nearing a 2015 record, the city's mayor says steps are being taken for a speedy turnaround.

Mayor Catherine Pugh said Wednesday that the latest crime figures are now "trending in the right direction." Her statement came just weeks after she described Baltimore's violence as "out of control."

The city has recorded more than 320 homicides so far this year, a figure now approaching the 344 killings in all of 2015.

Pugh says a crime-fighting initiative launched Oct. 30 appears to be chipping away at the scourge.

She says authorities have begun focusing on five troubled zones, and directors from 30 departments have begun meeting daily to make crime-reduction a top priority.

On Tuesday, Maryland's governor announced plans to crack down on gangs and repeat violent offenders.

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