The Associated Press reports this week that violent crime is down in the city known as the setting for gritty dramas like Homicide and The Wire. But despite these drops, the Baltimore is still high when compared with other cities of similar sizes. Officials are questioning whether new policing techniques may be positively impacting the violence.
This report details how 10 years ago cops would have broken up any illegal activity they believed was going on in their presence. Now, they’re more selective, focusing on quality, not quantity of arrests.
Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III is quoted as saying he isn’t trying “to win the drug war”, but rather “the war on violence.” By focusing their efforts on some of the more notorious violent offenders in the city, the police claim they have been able to keep violence down to levels not seen in over 20 years.
In addition to going after the “regular suspects”, police are serving warrants on people with violent pasts quicker than before—even if the warrant is for a nonviolent charge. The city has also developed a gun offender registry, similar to the one in NYC requiring people with gun convictions to register their address.
While the police may drive by a known drug dealer on the corner, this doesn’t mean drug offenses are allowed to run rampant. Arrests for drug crimes are still a fact of everyday life in Baltimore too.
Another change that has gone with the decrease in crime, is an increase in successful convictions on the part of the prosecutor. Because crime is lower, the cases being referred to the DA are better, making dropped charges less and less common. This should be a top concern if you are facing criminal charges today.
If you are facing charges in Maryland, you need to discuss the details of your crime with a defense attorney. Contact me today to talk about the circumstances surrounding the charges against you and what you can do.