Despite recent shootings, Baltimore leaders working to keep homicide rates down

Posted at 5:01 PM, Apr 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 18:21:19-04

The murder rate is down in Baltimore.

It’s the lowest it’s been in three years at this time of the year, according to crime data from the city.

On the heels of what could have been deadly, Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa says the shooting that happened on Bonaparte Avenue and Aiken Street should have and could have been prevented.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do. 2018, it’s a long way to go. We’re happy with the first quarter of this year, but we realize that we can do better,” De Sousa said.

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The commissioner, along with Mayor Catherine Pugh, citing the downtick in homicides in the first few months of the year.

While the numbers may be down, the city is coming off a record year for homicides – a reason De Sousa says why even more should be done to curb violence.

“We know where the areas are that we need to strategically put resources, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” De Sousa said.

In a timeline presented Wednesday, plans are to bring on new technology that’ll crack down on crime. There’s also a plan to open a ‘strategic decision support center’ – a home base for police that’ll house rooms with analysts that, with the help of software, will be able to ‘forecast’ crime in both the eastern and western parts of the city.

Areas that led Baltimore in homicides.

Mayor Pugh acknowledging the investment, but also the skeptics.

“You’re always going to have critics. Our goal is to reduce violence to its lowest possibility. So we’re completely focused on, no on individuals, but on the violence problem that the city is facing,” she said.

A problem that at any moment, De Sousa says, can swell.

“We know it’s going to be a challenge. You know the weather is getting warm, the days are a little bit longer. We’re prepping. We’re already prepping for June and July,” he said.

The mayor says Baltimore is using methods that’ve worked in Los Angeles and Chicago to bring down the homicide rate.

It’s worked for those cities, and leaders in Baltimore say they’re hopeful to get the same results.