BALTIMORE — On May 19, the request amid a surging amount of violence across Baltimore was made public by Baltimore City Council members.
“The letter to the Baltimore police department outlines a request for a short-term crime plan to be delivered to this committee by no later than June 3rd in anticipation of their hearing on June 7,” Councilman Eric Costello said last month.
Baltimore Police Department issued its response ahead of the City Council budget hearings scheduled to begin Monday.
In the response, they shared that much of what was requested is already in progress.
Council’s request highlighted a specific need for presence and visibility in the community.
BPD reported they're using crime trends over the last five years to establish focused patrol areas deploying a district action team as part of their short-term strategy.
The plan they released Friday afternoon laid out tailored coverage to individual districts through the city including specific measures aimed at the Inner Harbor.
The document details every sector patrol officer's assignments to provide higher visibility and engagement in deployment zones covering no more than a 4-square block area.
The zones they carved out, though they make up roughly 5 percent of the city's geography account for about a third of the city's gun violence in the last five years.
Another concern from council members was spending.
“Specially the utilization of overtime spending, ramping up civilianization efforts which as you're aware is something this council has been talking about,” Costello shared last month.
Harrison says the plan for cutting overtime was already in action stating in the report “the total overtime spending for sworn members in the department went from $50.6 million in FY2019 to $43.8 million in fy2020, which represents a 13% reduction in spending in this category.”
Still, BPD's short-term crime plan relies on an additional 300 hours of overtime for each district for each week from June to September to enhance visibility and foot patrols.
The formal request also included info on pulling in state and federal agencies as well.
BPD, in response, released data showing different agencies assigned to BPD to assist full-time that include 20 full-time ATF agents, 10 full-time DEA agents and 10-15 detectives for warrant apprehension efforts and 10-20 Maryland State Troopers.
Councilman Costello stated Thursday he was aware of logistical challenges bpd could face adhering to their request but said receiving the information ahead of time would benefit all parties.
“I wanted to make sure that myself and my colleagues had sometime over the weekend, fully understand it and develop appropriate questions,” said Costello.
Both BPD and the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement submitted written responses ahead of Monday's hearings.
At last check the request from the State's Attorney's office regarding staffing and prosecution data had not been received.