The rate of people being arrested and released without charges in Baltimore has been cut about in half since last year, according to the city’s Sun. The numbers suggest that the Baltimore Police Department — responding to months of sharp public criticism — can claim at least some success in its latest efforts to improve the quality of arrests, including extra training for officers.
A dispute over the department’s arrest policies heated up last year as some city leaders and advocates, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union, decried what they described as a high number of people — a few thousand a month in many instances — who were being arrested on minor offenses and released without charges. Critics have focused much of their public pressure on Mayor Martin O’Malley, who has made public safety a centerpiece of his run for governor. O’Malley tried to address concerns about the Police Department over a chorus of boos at a contentious public hearing in January.