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Baltimore County Chief pledges changes to combat record murder rate

Posted at 4:24 PM, Jan 06, 2020

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. — Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt is well aware of the numbers.

50 people were killed in Baltimore County last year -- a record -- outpacing last year's rate by 85 percent.

"It's disturbing and we are going to do everything within our power this year to make this county as safe as possible," Hyatt said

And the chief says things are changing to address the stark rise.

For starters -- Hyatt says Baltimore County will move to three patrol zones around the county and not just two; the purpose is to provide a nimbler deployment to respond to crime.

She also plans on refreshing the ComStat process to bring other agency heads to the table to address crime trends and -- a technological investment – the county is in plans to set up a real time crime center.

"Really, this is us taking all of the information that we get in terms of patterns of crime and geography of crime and making sure that decisions we are making on a leadership level regarding deployment are being made with the most information possible," Hyatt said.

Like for instance, 2019 saw eight domestic violence homicides.

Even this year in 2020 - the first murder last week happened in Reisterstown was a domestic incident.

Baltimore county police arrested Jimmy Foye for stabbing his girlfriend, Lily Ruiz, to death last Friday.

Hyatt says it is about marshaling resources where they can to help prevent crimes like this -- but also pulling in area law enforcement partners to cast an even wider net for all violent crime.

In 2019, Baltimore city set a record for murders as well; proof Chief Hyatt says that violent crime also needs a metro approach.

"Regardless of where the patterns of violence are, what side of the line they fall on, the onus is on us to make sure that we are working together to reduce violence."