Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley and police officials have started an anonymous tip line that they hope will lead to better investigations of drug dealers, says the Baltimore Sun. “We’ve made a lot of progress over the past year in pushing the open-air drug markets off our streets. … We still have a long way to go,” O’Malley said. Callers will speak to experienced narcotics investigators. Officers won’t respond by just driving by the troubled area and dispersing the activity for a short while, said Anthony J. Romano, chief of the department’s organized crime division. “If you take the time to call us, we’re going to take the time to follow up,” he said.
Previously, officers answered the tip line during the day, but at other times it was answered by 311 operators who handle a variety of citizen complaints, from potholes to strewn trash to graffiti. Baltimore, once dubbed the nation’s heroin capital, has long operated an anonymous drug tip line. It has had notable successes, including a 1991 tip that lead to a million-dollar cocaine bust at a Northeast Baltimore hotel. Of the nearly 200 homicide victims in Baltimore this year, 55 had been arrested this year on felony drug charges.