Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Arm twisting, and breaking

The council weighs in on the recent arrest of Lenny Clay and Chris Taylor, asking the BPD to explain how they deal with violent interactions with citizens.


John Galt said...

This link from Detroit could equally well apply to Baltimore City. {rant warning}

Meanwhile, a very sobering story from Peter Hermann on the defective Baltimore approach to parole violations.

Link here for the NY Times story.

John Galt said...

And on another note, consider Atlanta, which is just a bit smaller than Baltimore in population, yet has a higher level of 911 activity.

They have an even more depleted police force.

John Galt said...

Along similar lines, what does this presage about the response time for a 911 call in Baltimore ?

Cham said...

I wonder what kind of statistics the Baltimore City police force has? I assume the patrol cars all are tracked. Where are most of the patrol cars spending most of their time?

John Galt said...

Well, they keep stats, but they track from the time your call is logged in (post-wait) until an officer calls in for an incident report number (after taking your story). They don't get his true arrival time.

Anecdotally, nonviolent incidents usually wait a minimum of about 45 min.

So,... it's not really a response time. A lot of cars are grouped together in clusters, in my experience.

Cham said...

If the Baltimore City police department ever took the time to make sense of the data that is available to them I bet we'd all be surprised.

For example. One of my beef's with the city is an excessive police presence at the harbor, often you may see 8-10 officers there at night when it the stores close, and there maybe even fewer people there than that on the promenade at that time. I think an office:person ratio of 1.5:1.0 is a bit excessive. When I questioned some of the officers they said that they cannot predict how many people are going to be at the harbor.

I'm not so sure about this. I would think that once could assume that if you have a stadium event, and there is something going on at the convention center and the temperature is going to be clear and 80 degrees and it is a Saturday you can count on some crowds. If nothing is going on anywhere and the weather is going to be lousy then the police department could probably assume they won't need 10 cops at the harbor.

Predictive scheduling is maybe too big an idea for our police force.

Data, it could inprove results AND it could reduce costs.

Cham said...

On another note, I'm sort of glad Sheila is being a bit of a trooper in mentoring Ms. Rawlings-Blake this month. They gave it to the fire department today. That's what happens when you threaten to break the mayor's spokesman's nose. Serves the fire department right. May Stephanie learn fast.

Andrew B. Saller said...


I agree with you to a point regarding your comment on the Harbor. There are nights when nothing is going on down there and there is a disproportionately large police presence. However, when Iguana Cantina was still in business, there would be a lull between 9pm - 11:30 pm when the nightlife would begin. Then from 11:30pm until 3am it would be chaos. I imagine the police department is still reacting to this phenomenon, as well as trying to prevent a disaster from Mist.

buzoncrime said...

Wow. That New York Times story is so important. I have long the business of giving folks bite after bite of the apple was misguided. They began to think the system could be "punked". And they were right!

Judge Yvonne Holt-Stone (and other judges): what's the point in giving supervised probabtion if it's meaningless? For serious offenders?!