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By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | November 5, 2012
With three more murders over the weekend , Baltimore has virtually no chance of continued improvement in the city's homicide rate.  There have been 187 people killed so far this year, as of Sunday. Last year Baltimore saw 196 murders, the lowest total since the late 1970s and, adjusting for population change, the lowest murder rate since the late 1980s.  The city would need to see nine homicides from this point on to match last year's number. But just once since 1970 has the city recorded less than 10 homicides in the month of November or December, let alone nine total to close the year.  A positive takeaway for this year would be a continued decline in the number of non-fatal shootings, which were down 5 percent as of the most recent update on Oct. 27. If that holds, Baltimore would record about 360 non-fatal shootings this year, compared with 651 just five years ago and 419 in 2010.  jfenton@baltsun.com
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NEWS
August 29, 2014
Almost exactly two years ago this week Anthony Batts arrived in Baltimore to take over the leadership of the city's police department. Since then Baltimore has seen homicides go up, then come down again as Mr. Batts has instituted reforms, shaken up the force and reached out to local residents in an effort to build trust between his officers and the citizens they serve. It wasn't always obvious that the department was making progress on his watch, but it's a measure of his success in all those endeavors that today he enjoys the confidence of public officials who just a year ago were openly questioning whether he was up to the job. That remarkable turnaround in attitudes was reflected in the ringing endorsements Mr. Batts received this week from City Council members who appear set to unanimously approve his nomination for a new six-year contract as the city's top cop. Over the past two years Mr. Batts clearly has proven himself as a leader who can get things done, and he has vindicated the high hopes Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake held out for him when she recruited him from the West Coast where he had spent most of his 30-year career in law enforcement.
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NEWS
May 24, 2011
The latest FBI crime statistics reports are out, and Baltimore, despite its lowest homicide rate since the 1980s, is still the fifth deadliest city in the nation, and the seventh most dangerous in terms of overall violent crime. It's hard to know what to make of this. Thanks in part to the statistics-driven policing strategies we imported from New York, and in part to a morbid municipal fascination with the daily body count, Baltimore tends to closely monitor the ups and downs of crime and to link the trend to the effectiveness of the police chief or mayor.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | July 11, 2014
As hundreds of men marching against violence Friday night along Baltimore's North Avenue passed Gina Williams' vehicle, she applauded. "I'm glad to see some black men stand up for their community," said Williams, 59. Last year amid a surge in violence in Baltimore, a group of men hatched an idea in a barbershop: Get 300 men to walk the streets in a demonstration not only against violence but the apathy that allows it to persist. They met and far exceeded their goal, attracting more than 600 men who trudged the length of North Avenue, from the west side through midtown to the east side and back.
NEWS
November 19, 2013
I just read that Baltimore's homicide count is once again on the rise and that yet another expensive consultant's report is due, ostensibly to recommend solution(s) to this problem ( "Council president wants answers on Baltimore police plan," Nov. 18). First of all, and most-importantly, the police should not be blamed for this. Second, there is no need for expensive studies. Law enforcement is not a wheel that can be re-invented. Just about all of the effective means of combating crime have already been tested and used; there literally is nothing new under the law enforcement sun. These traditional and well-proven techniques certainly may be enhanced by bringing new technologies to bear; the "old" methods continually improve with the advancement of technology.
NEWS
July 2, 1994
Baltimore is 31 homicides behind last year's pace and, for the first time in three years, is not on a record-setting homicide rate. Police and city officials attribute the decline to one of the coldest winters in Maryland history and a series of raids in violent drug neighborhoods.Story on page 1B.
NEWS
By Douglas Birch and Peter Hermann and Douglas Birch and Peter Hermann,Sun Staff Writers | February 26, 1995
In a detailed study of slayings in Maryland, researchers confirmed that the state's recent wave of homicides was caused by a volatile mix of youth, drugs and handguns -- and contradicted some common misconceptions about the slaughter.The recent homicide rate is "likely" to be leveling off, said University of Maryland Professor David McDowall, a criminologist and one of the study's authors. But the region may never return to levels typical of the early 1980s, before crack cocaine and high-powered handguns boosted its homicide rate about 50 percent.
NEWS
By Michael James and Michael James,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writer Harold Jackson contributed to this article | November 11, 1994
Baltimore's homicide rate -- which had slowed earlier in the year after the record-setting pace of 1992 and 1993 -- has soared with 46 murders in the past 41 days, mostly from the drug-blighted neighborhoods of the Eastern District.For the year, city homicides continue to lag about 12 percent behind 1993, the city's most murderous year ever with 353 killings. That year marked Baltimore as the fifth-deadliest city in the country in terms of murders per capita.Police report 270 murders this year as of last night, compared with 301 at this point in 1993.
NEWS
January 8, 2014
Last week, top officials in Baltimore County stood together to proudly announce that the homicide rate there was at its lowest level since Jimmy Carter was president. This week, top officials in the Baltimore City Police Department had to answer questions from City Council members about why homicides there were once again on the rise. For a host of reasons, comparing the two isn't really fair, but it is instructive to look at what has driven the drop in homicides in the county to see what could apply to the very different circumstances of the city.
TOPIC
By John Marzulli | July 1, 2001
NEW YORK -- The homicide rate here plummeted 13 percent over the first six months of the year, putting the city on track for the fewest slayings in nearly 40 years. A total of 289 killings occurred through June 24 -- 46 fewer than in the same period last year, according to the latest New York Police Department crime statistics. At this rate, the department would log 581 homicides by year's end, the lowest number since 1963 when 548 were reported. The statistics show 253 fewer people have been shot this year, compared with the same period in 2000.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | July 8, 2014
By any measure, statistics show crime has been dropping in Baltimore. Yet many residents, like Vincent McCoy, say they don't feel it. "I wouldn't put money on it," cracked McCoy as he stood outside of the Belair Road church where he is a deacon. "I've seen the city when it was good, I've seen it when it was bad, and I don't see when it's getting any better. " Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined police officials Tuesday to tout the city's success against crime during the first six months of 2014.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | July 1, 2014
Baltimore saw 97 homicides in the first six months of 2014, one of the lowest totals at the halfway point in the past 30 years.  Killings are down more than 15 percent from the same time last year, when the city was dealing with a spate of more than 40 shootings in a two-week span , including 20 shot over a single weekend. The city ended last year with the first increase in non-fatal shootings in six years, and the highest murder count in four years . Not so this year.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | April 8, 2014
The call to the county homicide detective came in the middle of the night. A man had been gunned down at a bus stop on Eastern Boulevard in Essex. Found on the scene, the victim's cellphone held a message from someone named Ashley. It read simply, "You dead. " Like most homicide victims in Baltimore County, Robert Holiday knew his killer. Witnesses willingly spoke to investigators and testified in court. The result: three convictions in a year and a life sentence for Holiday's former girlfriend, Laquesha "Ashley" Lewis.
NEWS
By Justin George and Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | April 5, 2014
As temperatures dipped in February and March, Baltimore's homicide count dropped, as well, prompting many on social media to wonder if there's a correlation. Arguments on both sides can be bolstered by just looking at the first three months of 2014. Temperatures over that period were on average the seventh-coldest on record at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Nearly a foot of precipitation was measured — about 2 inches more than normal. In February, 10 people were killed in Baltimore, seven in March.
NEWS
By Justin George and Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | April 1, 2014
Homicides in Baltimore reached their lowest monthly total in three decades in March, a stark turnaround that police cautiously attributed to better patrols and intelligence-sharing after a bloody start to the year. Seven people were killed in March, the lowest monthly total since June 1983. The city has recorded fewer than 10 killings in a month just four times since 1970. March ended on an ominous note — with five shootings Monday, including one man who died after walking into a hospital with gunshot wounds.
NEWS
February 11, 2014
As a resident of Baltimore, I was pleased to hear that state legislators are demanding an explanation and response from Police Commissioner Anthony Batts regarding the spike in crime and violence in the city ("Senators press Batts on city crime," Feb. 7). However, though Commissioner Batts did provide some positive results - for example, a 20 percent decline in car thefts - he missed the interpretation of a very significant piece of data. Mr. Batts stated that violent crimes are down 34 percent over the previous year, yet as of Feb. 6, there have been 29 homicides, compared to 19 by the same time last year.
NEWS
By Ryan Davis and Ryan Davis,SUN STAFF | October 24, 2004
The campaign promise Mayor Martin O'Malley made five years ago was uncommonly specific for a politician. The Democrat pledged to reduce the city's annual homicide rate to 175 by 2002. That didn't happen. To some, O'Malley has still been successful. Crime is down 41 percent from 1999, police say. Shootings, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries - everything but the homicide rate is significantly down. The number 175 was merely a lofty, inspirational goal, many supporters say. And he has revolutionized policing in the city, importing New York City's statistics-driven style that relies on crime mapping and combating trends.
NEWS
August 24, 2002
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Edwin Melendez Primos died from a gunshot wound in his right ear. Alcidez Bauza Rivera, 31, was found with five bullets lodged in his body. And 20-year- old Jose Almazar Correa was killed after a shootout in a small town near here. Their deaths were notable because they were among 16 people killed last month in the same week and for pretty much the same reason: an expanding drug war that has given Puerto Rico the dubious distinction of being one of the bloodiest places in the United States.
NEWS
By Stephanie Rawlings-Blake | February 11, 2014
Baltimore still has a lot of work to do, but our city has much more for which to be grateful. The State of the City address is an opportunity to update citizens on what government is doing to confront our most immediate challenges, but also to take stock of our progress in tackling systemic problems that have been around for decades. There is no more immediate challenge in Baltimore than our fight against violent crime. While progress has been made in reducing assaults, robberies, rapes and overall violent crime, our homicide rate remains far too high.
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