Baltimore is enduring another deadly January, with 27 people shot, beaten or stabbed to death in the first 23 days of the year, the Baltimore Sun reports. At least six victims were juveniles. That is nearly half the 13 youths killed in all of last year, the lowest number in two decades. The overall pace mirrors last year’s, which saw 26 people killed during the same period. The burst of homicides this year comes as Mayor Martin O’Malley pursues his campaign for governor and the city police department copes with corruption allegations. “We have to look at the other agencies involved in this system,” O’Malley said. “Other partners in the criminal justice system have to take responsibility as well.”
Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm said his department is addressing this year’s killings by changing police deployments, working with other city agencies, and helping at-risk youth. He said several people had been killed in homes or in out-of-the-way places, making those killings difficult for police to prevent. For the first two weeks this year, other crimes – including rape, robbery, assault, burglary and larceny – were down compared with the same period last year: Property crimes fell 21 percent, and violent crimes fell 7 percent. Shootings increased from 19 to 33.