After three months on the job, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin P. Clark will launch the largest piece of his two-pronged assault on the city’s chronic narcotics problem when detectives in an organized crime unit to target drug gangs in coming weeks. Clark has begun to carry out the first part of his campaign by encouraging officers to constantly harass those suspected of being involved in drugs by issuing citations on offenses as petty as loitering.
Clark’s efforts occur as Baltimore is enduring a spike in homicides, recording 100 killings two weeks sooner than it did last year, and union officials complain of low morale, mismanagement and a lack of direction being given to officers.
Clark’s new organized-crime division consists of 162 detectives and is scheduled to begin hitting the streets May 26. Anthony Romano, chief of the division and a former narcotics sergeant from New York City, said he and other commanders searched the department for the best drug detectives to join the team, mostly from other specialized units.