BALTIMORE — For decades, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has been one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions, and it caught Scott Baker of San Antonio, Texas by surprise.
“I had planned on staying here and going on down to D.C.,” Baker told WMAR-2 News. “I took a walk around last night and saw the harbor and it just really blew me away, and so D.C.---I’ll do that later this week, and I’ll be able to explore the harbor today.”
The city’s top cop has already increased the presence of police at the Inner Harbor in advance of warmer weather and bigger crowds.
“We’ve had increased roving and foot patrols,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison. “We’ve had bicycle patrols and an increased, coordinated monitoring of Citi-Watch cameras.”
Those who support the larger police presence at the Inner Harbor say it won’t cut into the protection for other communities in the Central District.
In addition to mobile roving patrols and bicycle officers, City Councilman Eric Costello says he supported the creation of a Downtown/Harbor Incident commander to oversee the deployment of resources. This is while the Central District commander can remain focused on the rest of the district---all with public safety in mind.
“The most important thing is that folks feel safe at least in respect to downtown and the Inner Harbor when they come down there,” said Costello. “And that’s our residents and the folks that work downtown and in the Inner Harbor and the folks who visit it.”
Folks, like Scott Baker, who are discovering the Inner Harbor for the first time and hope to remain safe while doing so.
“I think any time we have a presence with the police or authorities, it just kind of keeps honest people honest,” said Baker.