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Home News Afro Briefs Originally published August 16, 2013

Maryland Officials Report Drop in State Crime While Violence in Baltimore Rises

by Blair Adams
AFRO Staff Writer

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Violent crime, homicide and property crime in 2012 in Maryland are at the lowest levels since 1975, according to data compiled by state police.

Maryland State Police officials said that the figures released Aug. 15 are being submitted to the FBI for inclusion in the nation’s crime reporting statistical summary.

“Our most solemn obligation is to protect the public’s safety,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said in a statement.

He said, “We've lost too many moms and dads, sons and daughters this year, so we know there's still more work to do. But we should honor the hard work, commitment, and dedication of local, state, and federal law enforcement officials—and community and neighborhood leaders across the State—that drove down crime last year to its lowest levels in recorded history.”

According to state officials total crime has been driven down by 2.9 percent since 2011 with 5,701 fewer crimes reported.

Within the state of Maryland, homicides decreased by 6.5 percent, robberies by 1.6 percent, aggravated assaults by 3.4 percent, breaking and entering by 6.4 percent, larceny and theft by 1.0 percent and motor vehicle thefts by 9.8 percent.

While crimes appear to be down throughout the state, Baltimore has seen an increase in homicides and non-fatal incidents this year. As of Aug. 12, the city’s homicides are 142 compared to 129 in 2012. For non-fatal incidents, in the city, there have been 255 incidents this year, compared to 223 in 2012.

According to city police, they have increased patrol in a lot of neighborhoods where they’ve seen an increase in crime. “We are interacting with the community more,” Detective Jeremy Silbert told the AFRO. “We’ve seen more residents within the city come forward and contact the police.”

He said sending armed felons and violent repeat offenders to prison reduces crime rates and increases public confidence.

In contrast to Baltimore, the O’Malley-Brown administration put in place a strategic goal to reduce crime in the state of Maryland. So far, according to the StateStat Goal webpage, they are on track with their goals.

According to the statistics listed on data.maryland.gov, from 2006 to 2012, Maryland had a significant decrease in violent crime by 26.3 percent, which exceeded the expectations of state law enforcement officials.

“Some of the steps we took, were taking advantage of people in the community,” Bill Toohey, communications director for the governors office told the {AFRO}. “When the people in the community notify the police when they find or see something suspicious, the meaningful information helps.”

Toohey also said that reducing the overall crime incidents in Maryland resulted from a greater cooperation between police departments.

“When city and county police collaborate and share information, it’s a major step,” he said.

Toohey told the AFRO, “This year we are doing those very same things and hope we are getting better at it everyday.”

Throughout Maryland, parole and probation monitor violent offenders very closely, so if they do something wrong police are notified according to Toohey.

“Parole and probation works very closely with police,” he said.



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