Annapolis mayor looking to invest $1.2 million into city police

Push comes after spike in homicides in 2016
Posted at 5:02 PM, Jan 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-06 18:19:56-05

Annapolis' mayor is looking to invest more than $1 million into the city's police department to hire new officers, give current officers more overtime and install new security cameras throughout the city. 

While 10 may not seem like a high number in most cities, that's the number of homicides officers in Annapolis saw last year and it's the most in years. 

When violence is up, Annapolis police chief Michael Pristoop and his officers are concerned. 

"Our priority number one will be to hire more officers, put additional officers on the street," he said. 

In the near decade he's been in the city, he says he's never seen the homicide rate like it was last year. 

"Between foot patrol and extra officers that aren't tethered to the radio, it would be very good for the community," Pristoop said, pointing to different ways he and the department can improve. 

He's working with Mayor Mike Pantelides on how to reduce the number of homicides -- and it's starting with a million dollar investment. 

"Instead of just putting that in the savings account, let's use this money for public safety and I think everyone will agree," the mayor said. 

He introduced legislation to get more money into the police department for more officers, overtime, and more security cameras throughout the city. 

"People here think we're immune to what's going on nationally: the heroin epidemic, drugs and frankly we're not. The drugs we have here, the crimes we have here and that we're dealing with are same as everywhere else," Pantelides said. 
The police department is even considering body worn cameras. 
"We're testing right now, so we believe some of the funds can go to help fund that. And again, overtime and equipment which are essential for our operations," Pristoop said. 
It's a goal to make Annapolis as safe as possible. 
"The most important, really, is to stop, prevent, and violent crime -- that's my biggest goal," Pristoop said. 
City Council will decide on approving the money next week. 
Mayor Pantelides says if so, all of the improvements he'd like to see should be in place by the end of the summer. 

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