Baltimore must copy NYC crime strate­gies

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS -

For­mer New York City Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Howard Safir out­lined the key tac­tics that re­duced the New York’s mur­der rate by 85 per­cent, a strat­egy that could work in Baltimore (“For­mer NYC po­lice com­mis­sioner lays out to re­duce Baltimore crime,” Nov. 6). But this will never work as long as Mayor Cather­ine Pugh and Com­mis­sioner Kevin Davis con­tinue to emas­cu­late pa­trol of­fi­cers, of­fer lame ex­cuses for un­der­staffed po­lice ranks and pay only lip ser­vice to “ac­count­abil­ity.”

There is a true dis­con­nect be­tween the way the city pos­tures it­self ver­sus its solemn re­spon­si­bil­ity to keep its cit­i­zens safe. Do the mayor and com­mis­sioner be­lieve it’s a dis­play of com­pe­tence to bring 21 charges against Of­fi­cer Cae­sar Good­son Jr. for driv­ing the van in which Freddie Gray was in­jured yet dither to ac­count for an­other 300 mur­ders, es­ca­lat­ing rob­beries and as­saults and ju­ve­nile law­less­ness?

Mayor Pugh and Com­mis­sioner Davis, it’s time to look in the mir­ror and rec­og­nize that your polic­ing ap­proach has failed. You could start by adopt­ing Mr. Safir’s rec­om­men­da­tion to em­ploy “as­sertive polic­ing … done right and con­sti­tu­tion­ally.” This year, New York, with 13 times our pop­u­la­tion, will record fewer than 300 mur­ders. If our city au­thor­i­ties were equally ef­fec­tive, the Baltimore mur­der “goal” would be 23, not 300! Think about that.

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