Is Baltimore a Safe Place to Live?
New data show a sharp reduction in the city’s murder rate.
Baltimore has some good news: The city has the lowest number of killings since 1977, the Baltimore Sun is reporting.
It is unclear why exactly there has been such a decline, but the Sun reported that public officials said they have been doing more “targeted enforcement,” where officials focus on known offenders.
Bill Toohey, the spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, called Baltimore’s homicide rate “very good news.” He also praised the city’s efforts to “get guns off the streets.”
There were 196 homicides in 2011, compared to 223 in 2010, according to the Sun.
Gov. Martin O'Malley took the opportunity in an editorial in the Sun to compare Baltimore's crime statistics today to a decade ago when the city launched a television ad campaign (see video) asking the city to "Believe" in a better future.
"Since that day, Baltimore has changed,"O'Malley, a former Baltimore mayor, wrote. "Over the last 10 years, Baltimore has now achieved the biggest overall reduction of crime in any major city in America — bigger than New York or Los Angeles."
Maryland state officials have not yet released 2011 crime statistics, but in 2010, Maryland had the eighth highest violent crime rate in the nation, according to FBI uniform reporting data.
Washington, D.C., is among the major matropolitan areas nationally that has also seen reductions in violent crime rates. The city had 108 homicides in 2011, compared to 132 in 2010, reported The Washington Post.
And, that is much better than 20 years ago in D.C., when, in 1991, there were 479 homicides.
In Prince George’s County, there were 93 homicides in 2011, compared to 90 in 2010, said Prince George’s Police Corporal Evan Baxter.
Baltimore County saw 30 homicides in 2011, compared to 24 in 2010.
In 2011, Howard County had five homicides, compared to four in 2010, according to police and county crime data.
Carroll County Sheriff’s officials reported one homicide in 2011.
Montgomery County reported 15 homicides in 2011 compared to 17 in 2010, said police spokeswoman Angela Cruz.