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NEWS
November 10, 2013
After nearly a decade of steady declines, Baltimore has surpassed the grim milestone of 200 homicides for the second straight year. If the killing continues at the current rate, it will far exceed 2012's total of 217. What makes this particularly disturbing is that all the indications suggest that what we're seeing isn't just a temporary statistical blip but the start of what could be a long-term upward trend. Now is the time for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, the State's Attorney's Office and the City Council to declare unequivocally and with one voice that this is a completely unacceptable development that demands their complete attention.
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NEWS
By Justin Fenton and Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | November 7, 2013
Homicide detectives gathered under a West Baltimore street lamp Wednesday evening and studied a pool of blood from a gunshot wound to the head of a 21-year-old man. As police notified his family and began to canvass the area, a spokesman assigned the victim a number: 199. It has been two years since Baltimore's yearly homicide count dropped below the symbolic threshold of 200 for the first time in decades. The achievement has proved difficult to repeat. Killings increased last year and are on track to do so again in 2013.
NEWS
October 29, 2013
Your recent articles about Attorney General Doug Gansler's alleged missteps reminded me of another high-profile scandal by a public official who now wants to run for Mr. Gansler's job ( "Gansler says he made 'a mistake,'" Oct. 24). That official is state Del. Jon Cardin, who several years ago used the Baltimore City police to stage a mock raid on a boat in the harbor as he proposed to his fiancée onboard. Mr. Cardin admitted he did this by reimbursing the police department $300 for the patrol boat, a helicopter and its manpower.
NEWS
October 28, 2013
In response to a growing body of scientific evidence suggesting that witnesses to crimes often misidentify suspects shown to them in police photo lineups, the Baltimore City Police Department announced recently that is changing the way it conducts the procedure to make it less prone to error. That's a long overdue change that not only brings the department more in line with modern best practices but also makes it less likely that innocent people will be sent to prison for crimes they didn't commit based on faulty witness identifications.
FEATURES
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2013
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts offered an open hand to the LGBT community at a hate-crime forum in Mount Vernon on Thursday night, saying he wants to stand "shoulder-to-shoulder" with community members to improve officers' interactions with them on the ground. "We're here to be open, we're here to engage, we're here to be part of the community -- all parts of the community," Batts said. The event, held at the Waxter Center as part of this week's Baltimore Black Pride celebration, drew a small crowd -- organizers said the rain probably kept some away -- but had a large presence from the police department, with the department's top brass heavily represented.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2013
Judy Pal, the chief of staff to Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts, is leaving after one year in the position, and sources say Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's former assistant will take her spot. Pal is a communications consultant who had worked in several police departments before her appointment, which was Batts' first personnel move. She began work here on Oct. 1, 2012 and oversaw administrative functions for the department. Pal could not immediately be reached for comment.  Sources with knowledge of the situation said Ganesha Martin, who worked as a special assistant to Rawlings-Blake, will be Pal's replacement.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | September 22, 2013
As he ends his first year on the job, Baltimore police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts is facing questions about whether he is taking too long to remake the agency and develop a crime-fighting strategy. But others say he is being candid about the city's problems and deserves more time to make progress. Batts, 53, said in a wide-ranging interview that he has been making improvements to the agency of nearly 3,000 officers, though not as quickly as he would like. He plans to keep a relentless focus on gangs and address issues of attrition and low pay for officers.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | September 4, 2013
Baltimore police do not have to reinstate an officer who was fired after the department discovered she was married to an incarcerated Dead Man Inc. gang member, an appeals court has ruled. The Court of Special Appeals on Tuesday upheld a decision by Baltimore police to terminate Meredith Cross, who argued that her constitutional rights were violated when she was fired from the department because she married Carlito Cabana –– a convicted murderer and a member of the Dead Man Inc. prison gang.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | August 28, 2013
A former Baltimore police officer won a $60,000 settlement from the city on a claim that his civil rights were violated when he was handed a plastic Bic razor and forced to shave for a visit by then-President-elect Barack Obama. Anthony Brown, a former Warrant Apprehension Task Force member and 17-year veteran of the Police Department, and the city agreed to settle the $17 million lawsuit rather than go to jury trial, according to a memo presented Wednesday to the city's spending panel.
NEWS
August 15, 2013
In response to the letter regarding Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby ("Does Nick Mosby have nothing better to do?" Aug. 13), I would point out first that Councilman Mosby is not calling for a total boycott of Florida. He is suggesting that the city of Baltimore continue to do business with those organizations for which it already has contracts. But in the future, it should review and minimize business dealings with the state of Florida. When it comes to selecting a company, if there is one in Florida and one in another state, the city should consider the company outside of Florida, Second, letter writer Bill Tavernier of Deltona, Fla. is obviously not aware that every Friday evening for the past 19 Fridays Councilman Mosby has been on a different street corner in his district promoting his "Enough is Enough Peace Program.
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