It pays to get tough on crime

To The Point

August 18, 2008

Five murders in the first three months of the year was cause for alarm in Annapolis, prompting a cry for help from city leaders and assistance from state and federal officials. The killings followed a year in which the quaint, historic town had a record eight homicides, and in a city of 30,000, the effect on the public was akin to a tsunami. But after a renewed focus on troublesome areas, more street patrols and a reliance on crime-mapping, the crime wave has slowed to a ripple.

Citizens spoke out and government responded - that's the measure of a city in sync with itself. City officials say crime had been on the decrease, but a double murder this year had residents clamoring for something more to be done. Mayor Ellen O. Moyer received $500,000 in state aid to beef up police patrols and better track crime. A new police chief has made good use of the state's help.

Chief Michael A. Pristoop needs to keep his force focused on the job and expedite the installation of security cameras around the city, which should help drive down the one crime category that is on the rise, thefts.

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