Monday, August 7, 2006

August 7

Horace Joseph Fauntleroy (#166) was killed yesterday morning in North Baltimore's Parklane neighborhood.

Gerald Edison (#165) was the man whose body was found locked in a Lexus on Evergreen Ave. last Thursday morning. The two men who were found dead in a parked car last week were belatedly ID'd by the Sun as Dante Watson (#153) and Adjeala Graves (#154).

A homeless epileptic man's helper dog is missing from downtown.

Breaking news from the Ministry of the Obvious: Most convicted felons have previous police records.

Beware of scooter thieves!

17 comments:

InsiderOut said...

The Washington Times had an article about how people are criticizing O'Malley for neglecting Baltimore. I wondered if Galt was quoted. There is a quote from a Baltimore police official who did not want to be identified who said "There is a belief that Martin gave up on the city a long time ago."

Anonymous said...

Galt, I thought you were a probation agent?

John Galt said...

No, no, no.



Guys, I'm a 100% civilian.

I don't want to have anything to do with this criminal justice crap.

Before living in this crappy town, I've really never known squat about crime, criminals, police, or corrections.

The only reason I deal with it at all is because it jumps up in my face, assaults me on the way back from dinner, breaks into my goddamn house, and generally intrudes. For ist part, the government of this rotten town does.... NOTHING.

It knows about the criminals and the extent of their crime. It understaffs its police by 50% not for a few weeks, but for decades. Translation: government-sponsored crime.

The police budget here is about $275MM, or about 25% of operating expenditures for the City.

The City's share of criminality relative to police resources is about about one half that of the rest of Maryland. In other words, the rest of the State does about twice as much per criminal or crime in terms of police response as we do. Baltimore City abdicates about half of its responsibilities for criminal behavior.

What does that do in terms of incentivizing crime? Well, if the elasticity w.r.t. police is about -.27 in a decent city, then doubling police would tend to cut crime by 27% in the aggregate to a first-order approximation. Because Baltimore is sooo very far out of sync with reality for many years, the required manpower would probably pull back a bit after five or so years of intensive policing.

But Baltimore ain't done squat, and it's leadership should be held to account for the crime it facilitates.

No, I'm not a sworn officer of any sort. I'm just a guy who doesn't want to suffer from structural crime any longer. Apparently, that means leaving Baltimore and heading for some civilized place.

John Galt said...

Oh, and let's not forget how the deck is stacked against Baltimore residents:

If O'Malley becomes governor, the city gets Sheila Dixon for a Mayor and we lose.

If on the other hard O'Malley loses, then we get that f#@kin' idiot back as the goddamn useless Mayor., so we lose.

John Galt said...

Oh, the other thing I neglected to mention, since the City has underprovided policing by about $200MM each year, that sorta means we do NOT have a budget surplus. Nor do we have the money to build Convention Hotels or subsidize home ownership for people whose income cannot support it.

This government is so incredibly f'ed-up it seems it should just be put into a receivership and started over with oversight from the State. Oh, that's right, whenever the State proposes to take over our failing city institutions, our marvelous City delegation to Annapolis makes sure the nonsense just goes on and on.

John Galt said...

How about measurable outcomes?

Well...

the police force in 1997 had 3,087 full-time sworn officers

O'Malley took office in 1999 with 3,005. In July 1999 Rep. Elijah Cummings gave the following testimony to the House:

"Furthermore, Baltimore City has experienced a significant drop-off in the number of officers serving on the police force. As of July 31, 1999, there were 2,985 actual sworn members of the Baltimore Police Department. 3,322 positions were funded, and so, the city currently has about 337 vacancies."

By 2000 we had 3,034 and O'Malley had promised to cut the murder rate.

By 2003, we had 3,258 officers, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

In June 2006, several local mass media included in officer.com reported:

"For the past several months, the city Police Department has been dealing with well-publicized shortages of about 130 officers in patrol, plus 100 or more unfilled slots because of medical leave, suspension or military deployment.
The department is authorized to employ 3,200 sworn officers, but its current number is just below 3,000, police figures show."



So, in summary, where are we relative to where we started? We've made absolutely no progress. Whatsoever. Whatta great City.

John Galt said...

The following is a set of posts by law-enforcement personnel on the arrests of that Virginia couple in Cherry Hill, generally disgusted by how our officers behave:


go to officer.com forum

Anonymous said...

I think "government-sponsored crime" is a bit on the hysterical side, Galt.

It appears that the story about the couple "getting arrested" for "being lost in Cherry Hill" is going to become a classic of the city-haters-- yep, they cite that example and then say such things "happen all the time."

Well, its just my impression, but I think the couple back-talked or somehow got stupid with the cop. When they were interviewed on TV, they came off as a bit on the trashy side. So its not a stretch to think these people may have been pushing it with the cop.

John Galt said...

It's entirely possible that the couple could have been more diplomatic. The fact is, however, that they were released without charges, which pretty well undermines any legal position on the part of the officer.

Regardless of whose mouth was bigger, that officer needs to work elsewhere. The reason I chose to link to comments from the blog as I did is that it's a cop blog. The criticism is not from city-haters, but from cops, some of whom are from here.

All of which brings us back to 'government-sponsored crime'. Only one government has the general authorization to police this jurisdiction: the Mayor & City Council of Baltimore. The Public Local Laws specify that the BCPD is to 'detect and prevent crime'. If they don't do it, no other entity is authorized to exercise police power here. Therefore, if they provide about half the staff to address the reasonable anticipation of crime, then the other half of the crimes is what we call allowed crime. When the understaffing and the local underdeployment of manpower are not a random "Ooops.", but rather a consistent pattern over many years, then it's planned crime. That's what I mean by govt-sponsored.... with the full knowledge of forethought.

The Cybrarian said...

Thanks for that link, it was good reading

Anonymous said...

So why do you think the local government delibrately "sponsors crime"? Because they like it?

Anonymous said...

To be fair the cop blog has posters that are cops from here, cops from other places, and people who aren't cops at all.

Their opinions seem to be all over the place on this issue.

A pointed one was the guy who says that there is always _MORE_ to the story than what we hear. I agree with that. People who get arrested always seem to have an axe to grind.

BTW, I do believe in abatement by arrest.

John Galt said...

Would you prefer the expression "assents to crime"? I'm just never going to agree that the kind of willful negligence that's going on here is beyond Baltimore's expectation or control. Proper staffing is NOT rocket science and there is no national shortage of officers. If we don't have cops on staff, it's because we (City Hall) don't want them on staff. No one's that stupid. Even Lenny. Keep in mind, they're not free and hiring a proper contingent would take about 20% out of discretionary spending.

Too few cops induces crime. We deliberately have too few cops. That induces crime, so yes, City Hall is responsible for the excessive level of nonsense in this town. The predictable stuff could be very, very easily cut down, leaving only the most random and opportunistic crimes.

Question regarding abatement by arrest, from someone who's been there... it presupposes that the offender was guilty, yet the court has not been given an opportunity to go on record and then become subject to appellate challenge. It's kinda like guilty by executive proclamation. Where's the due process?

Now, back in the ol' days, we used to detain, as opposed to arrest. The detainee was taken to the District HQ and placed in a low-security holding cell for a spell, with no charges written up and no arrest record. It only lasted a coupla hours before they'd let guys out, often to wise up a bit. Being processed through central booking with Baltimore's very worst is rather more distressing.

Anonymous said...

But you didn't answer the question:

If it is so clear (in your opinion) that increasing the police staffing numbers will reduce crime, then why does the government not do it?

John Galt said...

Because you get more votes by handing out cash grants than by performing public services. Also, it's kinda hard for Sheila Dixon's sister to get a piece of a cop's salary, whereas a setaside contract on the other hand... that's cash on the table.

The trick is, sometimes doing what's good for the City doesn't really get you any particular vote. Consider fixing potholes. Who ever chose to vote for Bill Clinton because the potholes were fixed?

John Galt said...

BTW, is there anyone here who believes there is any more efficacious decision variable than police officers for crime reduction.

I suppose that point is, the crime here is unimaginable. If we disagreed about best management practices, I'd be ok with that dialogue, but Baltimore appears to have decided to just allow this crap to continue. I cannot imagine anyone giving it official sanction.

Do y'all realize that only seven months into the year, Baltimore already has about two and a half times the total annual murders of Boston and one and a half times the annual murders of Atlanta? Three times the annual murders in Minneapolis and twice those of Oakland?

John Galt said...

Next month we'll exceed the total annual murders of the District of Columbia, and they've declared a crime emergency.

WTF ???