RadioOnFire.com – Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski Jr. and police Chief Melissa Hyatt on Wednesday released a plan aimed at combating violent crime.
The plan focuses on improving data gathering, crime prevention, recruitment, retention and partnerships. Baltimore County saw 50 homicides in 2019, an 85% jump from the previous year.
“There’s no single factor that causes violent crime and there’s no single solution,” Olszewski said.
The plan resulted from a reevaluation of crime-fighting tactics and resources that followed Hyatt’s appointment last summer.
“We take every single act of violence in our communities very seriously,” Hyatt said. “Innovating and modernizing our crime-fighting capabilities is a significant investment and is a necessary investment to continue to keep BC as safe as possible.”
The plan calls for the department to establish a Real Time Crime Center, which will be led by civilian analysts and police officers and will focus on the precincts with the most violent crime. The center will use real-time data, intelligence and technology to deploy resources.
The county will provide the department with more discretionary resources, allowing police to target key locations and times.
Olszewski said the department has made gains in filling the 40 vacancies that existed in the fall, but the department will double-down efforts to increase net hiring, including piloting take-home vehicles and implementing stipends and recruitment bonuses.
The department will work to identify and implement violence reduction strategies, including establishing an office of public safety to coordinate plans.
In 2019, Baltimore County joined with local, state and federal partners in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. The plan calls for intensified partnerships with Baltimore City police and expanded partnerships with local and state agencies.