Baltimore Police Blotter Report Survives After 30 Years


Thanks in part to the seemingly endless supply of thieves, gunmen, miscreants, and thugs who prey on the good citizens of Baltimore, The Police Blotter still exists after 30 years, says Baltimore Sun crime reporter Peter Hermann. The Blotter’s Richard Irwin still plugs away, dutifully making rounds of calls to jaded cops toiling away on the overnight shift, just as he did when he wrote his first holdup for the blotter in the now-defunct Baltimore News American in 1979. Hermann says that “not all crime is equal, but it is in the blotter, reported and written in a deadpan, old-school, just-the-facts-ma’am style that treats the silly and the mundane with as much reverence as the serious and odd.”

The blotter recalls the nostalgic era of fedora-wearing, whiskey-drinking reporters straight from “The Front Page” who went from police station to police station and called in to rewrite. Fewer purses are snatched now, but GPS devices are stolen by the dozens. Irwin fondly remembers a man who, stopped by police, opened his jacket to have the pigeons he had stolen from a coop fly away to freedom. “People steal the darndest things,” he noted. He describes his column: “People want a daily account of crime and what is going on in their neighborhoods.”

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