BALTIMORE — 2018 has come to an end, and while violence hit the city, officials are saying crime is down compared to the last couple years.
Officials with the city say 2018 ended with 309 homicides, and 13 of those murders actually happened in previous years. This means 33 less people were killed compared to 2017, which was a record year.
To put the number 309 into context, officials say 2017 saw 342 homicides with 10 happening in previous years, 2016 had 318 with four happening in previous years, and 2015 had 342 with three happening in previous years.
Officials also released these other stats from the last year:
- Homicide clearance rate: 43.4%
- Homicide cases closed from prior years: 52
- Homicide victims with previous arrest records: 83.8%
- Homicide victims with previous gun crime arrests: 48.5%
- Homicide victims who were on parole/probation at the time of death: 24.9%
- Homicide victims who had been previously shot in a non-fatal shooting: 19.4%
- Homicide suspects with previous arrest records: 85.6%
- Homicide suspects with previous gun crime arrests: 44.4%
- Homicide suspects who were on parole/probation at the time of incident: 30%
And while murders appear to be down in Baltimore, it's administration is still struggling. Baltimore has had three different Police Commissioners in just 2018, and one of them was criminally charged for not filing his taxes.
Kevin Davis started 2018 as commissioner but was soon fired so Darryl De Sousa could take his place. After only a couple of months, De Sousa was charged and later pleaded guilty to not filing his taxes for three years. After De Sousa was charged, Gary Tuggle took over as interim Police Commissioner, but later announced he did not want to permanently stay in the position.
Now as 2019 begins, Joel Fitzgerlad is in line to potentially become the next commissioner, but not all are sold in making him top cop.
Background interviews were released on Tuesday that showcase more than 15 hours of people either supporting Fitzgerald or explaining why he would not be a good fit for Baltimore City.
The city is hosting a public hearing for Fizgerald this Saturday, followed by a council hearing Monday night at City Hall. The City Council has until January 28 to officially confirm him.