Dirt Bike Task Force ramps up; Tuggle continuing crime plan

BALTIMORE, Md. (WMAR) - The video captured by the Baltimore Police chopper Foxtrot is a pretty good illustration of the issue, dirt bikes racing and darting through city streets.

Tis the season now and the Baltimore Police Department says its task force will be up and running as well.

"The big thing is, it's illegal to ride a dirt bike in Baltimore, it's not going to be tolerated. If you ride a dirt bike in Baltimore, you will be arrested, your bike will be seized," said Sgt. Christopher Warren.

Warren is with the Baltimore Dirt Bike Task Force, although seasonal, through the past two years he says the enforcement has seized 400 bikes and ATVs and boasts a 90 percent conviction rate when cases do go to court.

So far this year, their surveillance tells them there are now more people coming into the city to ride and watch.

"Even though it is on social media, my problem with it is, you're coming into a city and you think that Baltimore is this playground for crime, it's not," Warren said.

The re-deployment of this task force came at the direction of Interim Commissioner Gary Tuggle.

It comes on the back end of a traditionally violent holiday weekend for Baltimore.

But while the city saw 11 shootings this year, there no homicides in that time.

Baltimore's murder rate is now 22 percent lower than this time last year.

The department saying between its predictive policing centers due to come online next month and deployment strategies set in place late last year, Tuggle is engaged and carrying out a crime plan BPD says has crime trending in the right direction.

"He is continuing to make sure the deployment plans are sound and he is involved in every aspect of it,” said Baltimore Police Chief T. J. Smith, “If there is violence, to know exactly where it comes from and make sure we are getting headway on these cases as we get them."

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