Annapolis approves $1.2 million in police upgrades to combat homicide spike

Posted at 5:22 PM, Jan 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-18 17:22:34-05

After a unanimous decision from city council, Annapolis is moving $1.2 million to help the city's police department. 

This comes after a record homicide rate in 2016.

It didn't take long and city officials say it needed to happen. 

"It took everyone aback and the community is concerned about it and we're on it," Cpl. Amy Miguez said. 

Corporal Miguez says the staggering increase in homicides in the city didn't sit well with the department --- or the city government. 

Mayor Mike Pantelides says he wanted to move quickly to let people know the city is cracking down on crime. 

"We've always had a big emphasis on public safety. It's the #1 thing government does, but with the increase in homicides we saw the need to do this immediately," he said. 

After a record high ten homicides, council approved $1.25 to go towards hiring more officers and giving police more over time. 

"That's the bulk of where the money is going to be spent and it's our #1 priority because boots on the street, you know, the officers will be out there they'll be in the neighborhoods. They'll be talking to the people," Cpl. Miguez said. 

Part of that $1.2 million comes in the form of security cameras like this one. The mayor says he wants them installed in different neighborhoods throughout the city to keep people safe.

"We look at all of those resources that we currently have, then we look at where crimes are happening and we see where the gaps are," Miguez said. 

In addition to new officers and cameras, the city is hiring six new community service officers - between the ages of 18 and 21 to be out on the streets -- essentially grooming them to become future officers. 

Corporal Miguez calls it a step in the right direction.

"The relationships that we have with our community are strong now and the information we get when things happen is great, the support we get, but having more officers out there interacting with community members, being able to walk and patrol communities, you know, that's what the community has asked for over and over again," she said.