Homicides in first quarter lowest for city since '70s

April 05, 2010|By Justin Fenton | justin.fenton@baltsun.com | Baltimore Sun reporter

Through the first three months of the year, Baltimore has recorded its lowest homicide total since the mid-1970s as some other large cities are experiencing spikes.

As of April 1, 40 people were killed in the city, down more than 30 percent from last year and the lowest total since 39 people were killed through March in 1977. That year saw 171 killings total, the lowest number in the past four decades.

Cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago -- where 40 people were shot over about two days last week -- have been drawing headlines for crime spikes, though those cities have hit record lows in recent years.

Baltimore has also lost 200,000 people from its population since the 1970s, meaning its murder rate remains relatively high. Still, officials are encouraged and say the drop continues a trend of falling gun crime and shootings in recent years.

"We are not claiming victory by any means, but this is a testament that our crime-fighting strategy is successful and proving effective,"said Anthony Guglielmi, the Police Department's chief spokesman.

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