Bealefeld, speaking to a group of police commanders from Prince George's County and Washington, said his ambition was to move the department beyond the reactive crime-fighting strategies of the past. "We're trying to anticipate geographical areas and groups of people to tell us where we should be in advance of the next [crime]," he said. "Where we're going is putting together who is linked to victims of crime and who in the potential universe of suspects should be watched.
"We're not there yet. Now we need to turn the [police] force into this [intelligence]-driven machine, not this reactionary throwing up crime tape and trying to figure out whodunit after the fact."
Bealefeld is also proposing freeing patrol officers for set amounts of time each week or day simply to walk around their neighborhoods without the pressure of responding to emergency calls.
He took a shift of officers from the Northern District off the streets for a month and sent them for training - in part to focus on their communications skills so they know what to do and how to behave when they do get out of their cars.
Though there's been an uptick in violence in the past two weeks, Baltimore is still on pace for the lowest homicide total in two decades. In fact, the Eastern District, which Moskos patrolled so long ago, is seeing a 53 percent drop in homicides and a 33 percent drop in nonfatal shootings over last year. Those are among the largest decreases in the city.
Moskos was unfamiliar with the city's crime reduction, but he approved of the commissioner's new strategies. "If Baltimore can get murders down below 200 for two years, that is a real change, and that would make my book dated," he said. "We'll see if this is a real reduction."