Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Baltimore hopefully about to expereince the single largest homocide decrease since 1970

Since police in Baltimore City have increased their presence around some of worst areas, the homicide rate has declined. So far this year, there have been 172 homicides as compared to last year's number of 238, which is a 28 percent drop. With only three months left in this year, if the city can hold steady on homicide rates they will experience the single largest drop, both as a percentage and as a raw number, of any year since 1970.

Although police say there are many possible explanations for the decrease, they believe it's due to the city's new take on notoriously dangerous areas, mainly the Eastern and Western districts. As Deputy Commissioner Anthony Barksdale puts it, "History repeats itself...It's a basic principle: cops at the right areas, at the right times. ... They're out there to do one thing: get bad guys with guns."

Two other influential police tactics as noted in the Baltimore sun are the "geography factor" and getting the guns". Homicides have dropped the fastest in the two worst areas of the city, the Eastern and Western districts. Violent crimes, homicides and shootings all occur within the same geographic areas so officers now go into those areas prepared, with a list of "residents who have been convicted of violent crimes and are out on probation, residents who have been charged with violent crimes but found not guilty, as well as residents who have been homicide suspects but were never charged."

Hopefully with much needed changes to the police force by both Mayor Sheila Dixon and Police Commissioner Bealefeld, Baltimore can end the year a bit safer. The key seems to be teamwork. Now that officers have gotten together and mixed and matched units based on need, they clearly can respond faster and combine resources to prevent violent crime. If Baltimore can reach this milestone, who knows whats on track for 2009. All I can say is keep up the good work Baltimore!

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