An Escalating Violent Crime Problem. New Leadership Prompts Record-Setting Improvement. Baltimore Has Become a Safer Place. Since 1999, Baltimore Has Led the Nation in the Rate of Reduction of Violent Crime.
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In 1999 mayoral candidate Martin J. O’Malley set a goal to reduce the annual number of homicides in Baltimore to 175 by 2002.
During the current decade, under the leadership of Mayor O’Malley, Baltimore has led the nation in the rate of reduction of violent crime. The nearly 40 percent reduction achieved translates to almost 26,000 fewer incidences of violent crime in the city. Despite this success, the city’s annual number of homicides commands a disproportionate amount of public attention and a perception has taken hold that the Mayor has not or is no longer making progress on reducing Baltimore’s homicides.
While Baltimore has not yet achieved its homicide goal, significant progress has been made and there are very encouraging signs regarding the city’s current and future outlook.
Since 1999, while Baltimore has achieved nation-leading reductions in violent crime, other jurisdictions and the State as a whole have had their struggles. Between 1999 and 2004, the number of violent crime incidents in the State of Maryland has increased when Baltimore City’s reductions are excluded.
Between 2002 and 2004, Statewide violent crime was reduced 7.3 percent, but more than half of that improvement is attributable to Baltimore City. During the 2003/2004 period, Statewide violent crime outside of Baltimore City was almost unchanged.
The most recent data available from the Maryland State Police shows that for the first nine months of 2005, Statewide violent crime has increased five percent when Baltimore City’s reduction is excluded. During that same time period, violent crime is up in the majority of Maryland jurisdictions.