Carjacking surge in Baltimore

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The city of Baltimore is one of the more violent cities here in the United States. It doesn’t get quite the same consideration as Chicago, but it’s probably worse than the Windy City, at least in a lot of ways.

In fact, there are some interesting tidbits that have sprung up about violent crime in Baltimore.

Baltimore police are dealing with a rise in carjackings and shootings.

At a public safety hearing this week, Eric Costello, a member of the city council told the commissioner, “Right now, people do not feel safe in the communities where they live and work.”

Statistics from police show of the 32 people arrested for homicide this year, 16 are repeat violent offenders. There have also been 32 non-fatal shooting arrests this year. 11 are repeat, violent offenders.

Police have been able to close 54.4 percent of homicides. That is up from 31.6 percent in 2019. It is still below the national average.

There has also been a rise in shootings with multiple victims, like the one earlier this week near Johns Hopkins Hospital: 67 compared to 41 at this time last year.

It comes as police are understaffed. “We are critically short in every part of the agency,” Commissioner Michael Harrison said.

Police are trying a more holistic approach.

“Our efforts have to translate into the offender making different decisions, but that’s not just a policing alone task,” the commissioner told council members.  “As we begin to reach these at-risk individuals..I think we’re poised to see progress in the very near future.”

Or, you know, they won’t.

That’s certainly a possibility as well.

So, carjackings are up, as are shootings. Further, it seems that a significant portion of these shooters are repeat violent offenders.

That means they’re not able to buy a firearm lawfully. Not in Maryland or anywhere else in the nation. So much for using gun control to curb this kind of thing.

So what will?

Honestly, I don’t have an issue with law enforcement in Baltimore trying a holistic approach. If you can prevent crimes from happening, that’s a win for everyone. Yes, even the bad guy. After all, it means they don’t become violent dirtbags. Instead, they have jobs, homes, families; all the usual stuff that non-felons get to enjoy.

Yes, even some felons do as well.

My concern is whether this will actually work as advertised. I’d like to think it will, but I hope Baltimore police are ready in case it doesn’t.

I also hope part of the plan involves tougher sentencing for violent offenders since clearly, these guys didn’t learn their lesson the first time through the prison system–and that’s just assuming they only have one trip through. I suspect they’re quite familiar with the inside of a correctional facility.

Maybe do a bit of that in connection with a holistic approach and crime prevention. The carrot and the stick tend to work a bit better than just one or the other, so why not?

Then again, this is Maryland.

On a different note, if they didn’t take such a dim view of concealed carry, I wonder how the crime statistics would be different. We know that they would and that they’d be lower. The real question is by how much.