Baltimore, one of America’s most violent cities, is requesting 100 federal officers from numerous agencies to help control a recent spike in violent crime.
Law enforcement from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) will be relocated to aid the city. Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said, “Certainly, police officers will answer citizens’ calls for service. But I think what the bigger picture meant is federal agents will be on the streets of Baltimore. Not specifically patrolling, but on the streets helping, working side by side with police officers to help fight violent crime.”
Baltimore’s Police Department was met with calls to defund the police long before the recent wave of anti-police rhetoric. In 2017, controversy emerged after Freddie Gray died while in police custody. Baltimore’s police continued to suffer following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
In April of 2021, the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) tweeted: “Word is Police Commissioner Harrison will need to close 2 police districts. As of today, Patrol has fallen below 700 sworn officers.” In December 2020, the FOP reported that staffing levels had dropped 500 officers short.
The FOP blamed the drop in manpower on Police Commissioner Michael Harrison’s leadership: “500 Officers short! Homicides and shootings are pacing with last year’s record violent crime stats and we have lost more officers than we have hired over the last 2 years of PC Harrison’s tenure in Baltimore. “No actionable crime plan at the street level! In the last 13 days, there have been 19 homicides and 30 failed murders (shootings) in Baltimore. If your starting pitcher is getting crushed, you bench him!”
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WALL STREET JOURNAL
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